MA, INSURANCE COMPANIES AT WAR—CT NEXT?

Supporters of Connecticut’s Sustinet law—the state’s blueprint for universal health insurance—may want to look to our neighbors to the north to anticipate problems as the plans begin to form. Currently, many insurance companies have ceased writing new policies in Massachusetts under the Bay State law that requires everyone have health insurance.

Massachusetts regulators recently rejected the vast majority of the rate hikes sought by the companies, increases they say they need to keep operating. The companies responded by refusing to write any more policies. The state shot back and demanded the old price ranges be used. The deadline for compliance is today.

The Sustinet plan, which is not yet funded, is a favorite “whipping boy” of state Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy who says it will drive the state further into debt by billions. But the reality is, Sustinet will not be funded while there is a multi-billion dollars deficit hanging out there.

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The deposition of Susan Bysiewicz in her attempt to be declared eligible to run and if she wins, serve as attorney general is compelling if only for its entertainment value. The videos were released yesterday—the transcripts don’t do the case justice. Bysiewicz readily admits she has rarely stepped foot in a courthouse and has never tried a case. She contends her years as secretary of state should count toward the qualification in state statute that she be an attorney in “active practice” for ten years.

The Shad still believes the statute will be declared unconstitutional which may be what Bysiewicz is counting on.

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont is hitting the airways with a new TV spot. It focuses on job creation and mentions his epic battle with Sen. Joseph Lieberman which Lamont, you may remember, lost. The new ad can be seen here: http://www.nedlamont.com/media?id=9

Lamont’s chief rival, former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, has dropped the stick and gloves and is now squaring up with Lamont. Through his campaign manager, Malloy issued this statement: “Ned’s strategy is clear: he’s trying to buy the Convention with TV ads.  Dan’s trying to win the Convention the old-fashioned way: talking with delegates about his values and his experience.  In the end, all the ads in the world can’t hide the difference in this race: Dan Malloy has the values and experience that money can’t buy.”

Republican US Senate candidate Peter Schiff wants Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to sue the federal government to block the health care overhaul but doesn’t expect him to because he is in “Washington’s back pocket,” according to Schiff’s website. “But Blumenthal has a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution and protect the citizens he serves, even when it means putting his personal feelings aside.”

In a press release, the Schiff campaign said it aims to “encourage Connecticuters to demand Attorney General Richard Blumenthal file a lawsuit against the federal government over recently passed health care legislation.”

Meanwhile, Blumenthal is raking in the cash. He says he raised $1.87 million from more than 2,300 donors in his first fund raising quarter. The total is among the highest amounts in state history for a three-month period.

Blumenthal’s total of more than 2,300 donors in only three months is far, far more than any other candidate this year. In the entire 2002 election cycle at the peak of his popularity, then-Gov. John G. Rowland had fewer than 2,500 donors for the entire cycle, the Hartford Courant’s Capitol Watch points out.