After a bill signing ceremony Monday, Gov. M. Jodi Rell, entertained some general questions from the media.
Would she sign a bill to increase the minimum wage? Or the health insurance pooling bill?
She expressed reservations about both bills, which haven’t yet reached her desk. While she wouldn’t say how she would definitively decide, she was able to grab background information about at least one of them from a folder labeled “bills of concern,” on her desk.
From the folder “bills of concern” she pulled three letters from two health insurance companies regarding the health insurance pooling bill that would allow municipalities, nonprofits and small businesses to join the state employees health insurance pool.
A letter from Anthem President David Fusco, May 16, says, “I am formally notifying you that we are recalculating the rates offered to the State of Connecticut effective July 1, 2008.” Fusco wrote that the recalculation means its rates will increase 4 percent, increasing its previously submitted premium to more than $24.2 million. Fusco wrote that the increase in price is based on both the expansion of membership and adjustments to its administrative fees.
“Understandably, adjustments have also been made to Anthem’s administrative fees as a result of increased administrative complexity such as multiple bills and premium collection and the loss of a single electronic enrollment process,” Fusco wrote.
Rell said she was surprised by the letter, since she hasn’t even signed the bill yet.
Another letter from ConnectiCare dated May 9 asked Rell to veto the bill. “Although the bill’s intentions may be well founded, we do not believe the pending legislation will improve access or cost control in the current healthcare system,” Stephen Jewitt, ConnectiCare’s Director of Communications, wrote.
Rell said she has “major concerns” about the bill. Click here to read the letters.
As far as signing a bill that would increase the minimum wage 35 cents to $8 in January 2009, Rell said “I still have some questions about it.” She said she wants to hear from business owners that wouldn’t hire summer help if the bill were to pass. “I would like to know if that’s an actual fact,” Rell said.
The bill would raise the minimum wage to $8.25 in 2010 and passed the House mostly along party lines, which at least two Republicans in the Senate crossed party lines to vote for it in the Senate.