Obamacare: Kelly wants accurate accounting of insurance policy cancellations

State Sen. Kevin Kelly
State Sen. Kevin Kelly

State Sen. Kevin Kelly, whose district includes all of Shelton, is calling on Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi to appear before the legislature’s Insurance Committee on Friday to testify about the number of health policy cancellations in the state caused by implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

After repeatedly stating that the number of cancellations in Connecticut was “only 27,000” and that most of the cancellations were not due to the ACA (also known as “Obamacare”), Kelly said Leonardi now has acknowledged that his numbers were incomplete and inaccurate.

Based on market size, the number may be more than 50,000, according to Kelly. By Leonardi’s own admission during an interview on WTIC-AM on Thursday, only one third of these would have happened in the absence of the ACA, Kelly said.

‘Misleading and inaccurate numbers’

“The sharing of misleading and inaccurate numbers to try to minimize the devastating impact the ACA is having on tens of thousands of Connecticut residents is disturbing,” said Kelly, a Republican and ranking member on the Insurance Committee.

“The people of Connecticut are entitled to honest answers from their public officials — and I hope to get answers from Commissioner Leonardi at tomorrow’s meeting,” Kelly said in a statement issued Thursday.

Call for special session

Last week, Republican Senate Minority Leader John McKinney called on Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to order a special session of the General Assembly to avoid these cancellations.

McKinney and Republican House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr. have also sent a letter to Leonardi requesting an accurate accounting of the cancellations, to which Leonardi has not responded, according to Kelly.

Governor should direct him

Kelly said he takes exception to the fact that Leonardi attended a meeting at the White House this week to discuss the ACA, but does not plan to testify before the elected representatives of his own state on this healthcare issue.

“The governor should direct the commissioner to show up at tomorrow’s Insurance Committee meeting ready to answer questions and be honest with the people’s representatives about the real impact of the ACA in our state,” Kelly said in his Thursday statement.

Kelly is serving his second term in the Senate representing the 21st District, which includes all or part of Shelton, Monroe, Seymour and Stratford.