Although the Governor's administration "fully supports the goals of SustiNet,” says Ben Barnes, secretary of the Office of Policy and Management in written testimony about the proposal to create SustiNet, a state-run healthcare system, the proposal could  "severely weaken the executive branch’s authority and ability to manage major components of the state budget in a time of historic budget challenge.

 “As you deliberate the proposal before you today, I would like to raise some concerns for your consideration regarding the likely or potential impact of the bill on implementation of federal health care reform provisions in Connecticut,” Barnes explained. “I also would like to offer some cautions with respect to the executive branch’s authority and ability to carry out essential governing responsibilities, including managing the state budget.”

The legislature’s Insurance, Public Health and Human Services committees are holding a joint public hearing on several healthcare reform proposals today, including a bill to establish a state-run public healthcare option (HB-6305).

Businesses are concerned about many aspects of the plan, called SustiNet, including the cost of creating a new government bureaucracy at a time of severe state budget deficits and long-term debt. CBIA’s Eric George reports from the state Legislative Office Building, where he also will testify later today.