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UPDATE: Lembo, Dem Frontrunner for #CTGov, Pushes Medicare-for-All Option

May 24, 2017 By Staff
UPDATE: Lembo, Dem Frontrunner for #CTGov, Pushes Medicare-for-All Option

Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D-Conn.) wants Medicare-for-all from the feds, and a public option at the state level. Here's a rough idea of how much it could cost.

Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D-Conn.), a leading contender for governor on the Democratic side, proposed two aggressive, government-led options for health care in the state, according to the Hartford Business Journal (HBJ).

HBJ‘s Patricia Daddona reported:

In letters to Connecticut’s U.S. senators, Lembo, who is pursuing a run for governor, is recommending expanding Medicare eligibility to all. He is also asking a bipartisan Connecticut group to explore state-level action to institute a public option in the state’s individual healthcare market.

“MEDICARE FOR ALL”

Either option would be expensive. Lembo’s Medicare option proposal echoes the “Medicare for All” proposal from socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Sanders’ proposal would cost anywhere from $13.8 trillion to $24.7 trillion over 10 years at the national level, according to analyses from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Sanders proposed paying for his plan with $11 trillion to $14 trillion in new taxes over 10 years.

UPDATE, 5/31 at 5:05pm: We received a statement on May 24 from Lembo’s office, indicating that Comptroller Lembo is “proposing a Medicare for All option – which is a buy-in program, not a single-payer system. So it’s completely different and designed for premiums to cover costs.”

PUBLIC OPTION

A public option at the state level in Connecticut would vary by how many people it covers, but if the state covered all health care costs in Connecticut it would have cost them $30 billion in 2009 (the latest year of health spending data available).

That is 50 percent more than Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) proposed spending in the entire fiscal year (FY) 2018, a total of $20 billion.

Lembo fashions himself a “fiscal guardian,” but neither option would be fiscally thrifty in a time of large budget deficits.