Hartford Business Journal

February 22, 2021

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HartfordBusiness.com | February 22, 2021 | Hartford Business Journal 43 By Kevin Kelly, Paul Formica and Tony Hwang F or middle class Connecticut families, health insurance is anything but affordable. In fact, premiums are often the size of a monthly mortgage payment. Those lofty bills weigh down family budgets and eat into savings, leaving Connecticut's middle class struggling to make ends meet. Connecticut Senate Republicans are working to ease burdens on middle class families, and we are offering thoughtful, comprehensive solutions to this unaffordability problem. Our plan would reduce health insurance premiums by up to 20%. We set-up a process to reduce all healthcare costs by better management of the growing costs of health care. We accomplish that by using best practices from Massachusetts, which have already saved people in the Bay State billions of dollars. The governor agrees with our idea: He has begun implementing it with an executive order, because Democrat legislators refused to advance it in the legislature. We would also reduce prescription drug costs through establishing a framework to reimport drugs from Canada. Last year, we proposed legislation to investigate disparities in the health system so we can deliver on health equity for all people no matter gender, race or background. We have proposed it again this year. We would also require audits of the "Cadillac" health plans offered by the state, which are back-stopped by the Connecticut taxpayer. Sound appealing? It gets even better. Connecticut Senate Republicans can accomplish this without raising taxes on middle class families, and our ideas will not threaten the tens of thousands of quality private-sector insurance jobs in our state. Our Senate Republican ideas focus on a core issue in our state: the affordability and accessibility of health care. At the same time, we understand how important our insurance industry is to our economy. After all, we are known as the "Insurance Capital of the World," and we want Connecticut to stay that way. We are confident our vision will receive bipartisan support at the state Capitol, and we appreciate the encouraging comments we have received thus far. In fact, a 2019 report from the actuarial consulting firm Wakely agrees that our plan is best to lower premiums. By contrast, Connecticut Democrats are pushing a national partisan concept, which fails to reduce healthcare costs while putting the state of Connecticut in direct competition with one of our main job sources: the insurance industry. Majority Democrats' government- run healthcare plan begs some crucial questions. First, why would Connecticut Democrats put jobs in jeopardy at a time when our state is already dead last in the nation on jobs and income growth? Connecticut private-sector employment fell by 1,000 jobs in December and is lower by 84,200 from a year earlier. We should be seeking ways to reverse this troubling trend, not make it worse. Second, why do Connecticut Democrats' solutions always focus on middle class taxpayers' wallets while seeking to grow government? The Connecticut Senate Republican solution can make Connecticut more affordable for middle class families while supporting good-paying jobs. It is a common sense, pro-family, pro-jobs, and pro-middle class path. Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (21st District), Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (20th District) and Sen. Tony Hwang (28th District) co-wrote this op-ed. Through a public-private partnership with Ørsted and Eversource, the companies will be covering a significant portion – $77.5 million – of the project costs for infrastructure improvements at State Pier that will transform it into a modern facility and, most importantly, give it heavy- lift capabilities. It will serve as a premier staging and assembly port for Ørsted and Eversource's Northeast offshore wind projects, which include Revolution Wind, a 704 megawatt project that will deliver 304 megawatts of clean energy to Connecticut and 400 megawatts to Rhode Island – enough to power nearly 350,000 homes across both states. At the same time, State Pier will continue to support other existing long-term breakbulk operations for steel, lumber, salt and other cargoes. During Ørsted and Eversource's 10- year lease period, we will market the facility for other cargo when it is not used for offshore wind. On the regional level, Connecticut will benefit for decades to come from this enhanced state asset that creates jobs and provides economic development opportunities. The State Pier redevelopment project is expected to deliver more than 400 construction jobs. The redeveloped State Pier will also serve as an asset to New England, facilitating decades of future growth long after offshore wind. Its reconfiguration significantly increases State Pier's addressable market through its heavy-lift capabilities and enhanced footprint. Maintaining the status quo at State Pier could lead to lost opportunity and declining activity. From a national perspective, State Pier and the wind projects it supports will spur the creation of a sustainable new industry and a significant opportunity to cut carbon emissions. Gov. Ned Lamont and the state had the early vision to invest in New London's infrastructure. We are eager to see the project continue to advance to ensure that Connecticut can realize the economic and environmental benefits that will come from an upgraded port facility and the offshore wind industry. Matthew Satnick and Philippe De Montigny are the co-CEOs of Enstructure, the parent company of Gateway Terminal. OTHER VOICES Offshore wind a good bet for CT OTHER VOICES More affordable health insurance? CT Senate Republicans have a plan OPINION & COMMENTARY By Matthew Satnick and Philippe De Montigny W ith the new Biden administration comes an aggressive climate plan that includes building several new offshore wind farms to help reach the country's goal of a carbon-free electric sector by 2035. Currently, the United States has more than 28 gigawatts of offshore wind in development. According to the Department of Energy, offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 2,000 gigawatts of clean, renewable power per year, nearly double the nation's current electricity use. Our company, Massachusetts- based Enstructure, owns and operates a network of dry, liquid and breakbulk terminals and logistics assets on the East Coast and Inland River System of the U.S., including two right here in Connecticut – Gateway Terminal in New Haven and New London at State Pier. We are constantly evaluating smaller, niche ports across the country as we expand our business. We have seen firsthand the challenges that many of these ports face as they struggle to compete for traditional cargo opportunities. Offshore wind has established itself as a proven industry globally, bringing new jobs, clean energy and revitalized infrastructure to ports across Europe and Asia. As the industry continues to advance domestically, it will create tens of thousands of skilled jobs and a robust national supply chain will emerge, revitalizing ports up and down our coasts. In Connecticut, a redeveloped State Pier will be one of these thriving ports and deliver local, regional and national economic and climate benefits. The state was an early-mover by recognizing its once- in-a-lifetime opportunity to be an epicenter for this new U.S. industry, with State Pier playing a critical role. Make no mistake, the competition is fierce. For example, New York recently announced a 2,500 megawatt offshore wind procurement that includes transforming the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and the Port of Albany into large-scale offshore wind working industrial facilities. Built more than 100 years ago, State Pier is an underutilized state asset that has been in disrepair and in need of modernization for decades. Philipee De Montigny Matthew Satnick Kevin Kelly Paul Formica Tony Hwang

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