Archive for ‘Rob Sampson’

December 28th, 2013

OP-ED: Healthcare Law an Iceberg

by State Rep. Rob Sampson
Rep. Rob Sampson

Rep. Rob Sampson

I don’t know about you but personally, I am not a fan of the cold weather.  Still, this is my favorite time each year.  It is a chance to regroup with family and friends at home and for some to travel and catch up with loved ones.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and will use this chance to offer my wishes for a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and of course a Happy New Year too.

It should not be a time where some of us are receiving health insurance cancellations and having increased concerns about how we will manage our healthcare in the future.

The past couple of months I have used the majority of this column to talk about the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare).  I didn’t intend on a third month on the same topic but it’s important to me to get the facts, and the truth, to my constituents.  I believe this legislation represents the most major structural change to our society and culture in most of our lifetimes and its impact will fundamentally change our country.

As the Ranking Member of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, I have the notable position of being on the front lines of the battle over Obamacare in our state.  Recently, I participated in a public hearing where officials from the Malloy administration and the state’s Health Care Exchange program came to update us on how the state has handled the implementation of the new law thus far.  While not widely reported, what we found out was shocking and disappointing.

The point of Obamacare was simply to reduce the number of uninsured individuals.  Amazingly however, despite claims of Connecticut being the example of “where it’s working,” we may have more people uninsured now than before the rollout. We learned straight from Kevin Counihan, the executive director of Connecticut’s exchange that we have had 16,480 new enrollees to date.  Meanwhile across town at an event at the Convention Center, Governor Malloy was simultaneously stating that so far we have had roughly 38,000 policy cancelations (affecting more than 70,000 individuals) since the rollout.  There is also the concern that of those applying there is also an extremely low enrollment of young people.

Simply put, fewer people are covered today due to the number of policy cancellations exceeding the number of new enrollees. We were told that it would be less expensive, but even the most rosy projections no longer bear that out.  In fact, as the number of current enrollees skews to the older side of the spectrum, there will be a smaller pool of younger, healthier consumers in the exchanges, and that will result in higher costs for everyone and likely more and more taxes to pay for it.

I am not sure how this can continually be framed as a success.

President Obama’s flagship law promises much, and it is beginning to be clear that much of what he promised was either exaggerated, or completely false.  It began with the “failure to launch” of the national web site and has hardly done much since to shore up the confidence of the American people.

It is not secret that I and others have vehemently opposed the entire concept of a nationalized healthcare system run by the government all along and it appears that our warnings are sadly being realized.

We have absolutely had ongoing problems in the cost and availability of healthcare and insurance for all of our citizens in the past.  The question has always been – what is the best course of action to improve that situation.

I have advocated for true solutions starting with attacking the real problem which is the cost of healthcare itself.   Working towards reducing malpractice insurance premiums and nuisance claims as well as relieving doctors from feeling the pressure to practice “defensive” medicine at great financial cost would be a key starting point in reducing the cost of healthcare.  From there, we could encourage real competition among insurance companies by allowing the sale of insurance across state lines.  Finally, we could and should allow insurers and consumers to make their own choices about what types of coverage could be sold and purchased, instead of mandating all policies contain protections unneeded or unwanted by consumers.

These are common sense free market ideas that have been proposed repeatedly and ignored as we have gone farther down the road to where we are now, with a government takeover of a huge portion of our economy.  It’s not too late.  Polls show Americans overwhelmingly opposed to the continued implementation of this bad policy.  Hopefully, the 2014 elections will see significant changes in the makeup of our state and federal governments and the opportunity to change direction.  You can count on me to continue this fight.

My hope for the New Year is to share more positive news with you in this column.  2013 has been a tough year for those who believe in traditional American values and our Constitutional principles.  Aside from Obamacare, our state and federal governments continue to spend and tax more and more and have done little to jumpstart our economy.   As always, I will do my part to fight bad laws and advocate for policies that improve our economy and protect our freedoms.

November was a busy month for me in the district as well as in Hartford.  The month started with the Miss Wolcott Pageant on Nov 2nd.   Congratulations to our New Miss Wolcott – Alyssa Taglia and Miss Wolcott’s Outstanding Teen – Cynthia Dias.  I know they will do a fabulous job representing us.  I also attended the Lion’s Pancake breakfast the following morning and had the privilege of thanking our Veterans personally on the Wolcott Green on the 11th.  Thanks to the American Legion for putting on this event again this year.  Congratulations also to our own Alcott Elementary School for receiving an award as Connecticut’s Outstanding Elementary School of the Year.  Finally, I had the privilege of participating in the Christmas tree lighting event on the green again this year.  That is one of my favorite events each year and thanks to all who make it possible, especially the Junior Women’s Club of Wolcott and the town crew.

August 8th, 2012

Risk Reduction Law Increases Risks to Public Safety

by Christopher O'Brien

Rep. Rob Sampson

Crime has been on the forefront of people’s minds and in the news headlines lately due to many violent shootings and deaths in some of Connecticut’s largest cities this summer.

Since the legislative session ended in May, I have been able to meet with many folks in the district and one of the big issues that continues to be brought up is the decision to repeal the death penalty.

Who can forget this past April when Governor Malloy and the majority in the legislature pushed to repeal Connecticut’s death penalty instead of addressing its flaws to make it a workable law? Under the repeal law no one convicted of capital felony murder would be executed prospectively except for those 11 men currently on death row.

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