Cigna CEO threatens Connecticut so they drop public option from their healthcare bill

Mar 2012
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New Hampshire
Legislation to establish government-subsidized health care in Connecticut is dead following a threat by the chief executive officer of Cigna Corp. that the Bloomfield insurer would leave Connecticut if lawmakers and Gov. Ned Lamont enact the measure, Comptroller Kevin Lembo said Wednesday.

A spokesman for Cigna said the insurer lobbied hard against the bill, but denied that any threat was made.

Strong opposition from the industry, particularly Cigna, may force lawmakers to strip out from the legislation the public option portion, a major part of the legislation establishing a state program offering insurance. Lembo told The Courant that Cordani threatened to send a public letter to Lamont that if the public option bill moves forward, “they would reconsider where they’re domiciled."

In an emailed statement, Lamont said he remains committed to the Connecticut Option, but understands that for “legislation of this magnitude to be successful, the proposal must leverage the best thinking from all stakeholders, including the carriers.”

"Cigna is a vital piece of Connecticut’s fabric and I am committed to working collaboratively and constructively with carriers, stakeholders, and advocates, and I encourage other elected officials to respectfully do the same.”

Lembo says threat by Cigna CEO to leave Connecticut kills public option health legislation, though insurer denies ‘anything like that’