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Lembo’s Latest Bid to Save CT Money? A Program Popular with the GOP

January 19, 2017 By Staff
Lembo’s Latest Bid to Save CT Money? A Program Popular with the GOP

Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D-Conn.) has a proposal to save Connecticut "tens of millions" of dollars; the surprise? It relies on a program popular with Republicans.

Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D-Conn.), who’s responsible for monitoring the state’s finances, has an interesting new proposal to save money.

Lembo wants the state to save “tens of millions” of dollars on health costs for retirees, according to CT News Junkie‘s Christine Stuart.

What’s interesting about the proposal is that it relies on Medicare Advantage, a program that is tremendously popular among Republicans.

More, from Stuart:

Lembo said after researching the issue he thinks the state could save money [on retirees covered by Connecticut’s state health plan] by implementing Medicare Advantage plans.

…The state currently can only estimate at the beginning of each year what health care costs will be. By switching to a Medicare Advantage plan, an insurance carrier would contract with the state and, in the process, guarantee a fixed and predictable annual cost to deliver retiree health benefits, according to Lembo.

As Morning Consult notes, Medicare Advantage “was originally a Republican idea.” Conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation have praised the program for offering seniors “personal freedom in choosing [private] health care options.”

As of 2016, around 31 percent of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage. The rate in Connecticut, 26 percent, is below the national average.

It’s possible, of course, that Lembo’s proposal – in addition to saving the state money – is an effort to enhance his bipartisan chops ahead of a potential run for governor.