SB-596, a bill that would have implemented active purchasing in Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, died yesterday without action by the House on the last day of the session. The bill passed the Senate last week. The bill directed exchange staff to negotiate premiums with insurers. Negotiations in California and Massachusetts’s exchanges have kept costs down for consumers and small businesses.
According to reports, the insurance industry lobbied heavily against 596. Members of the House worked hard to pass the bill, but were overridden by leadership. Exchange staff was not supportive of the bill. The administration agreed to language in a budget implementer bill that the exchange “may” negotiate premiums with insurers, a largely meaningless move. But in the end, an amendment was added removing even that language.