Governor Pulls the Plug on Health Care Bills

Governor Rell has made her decision.  Just hours before the midnight deadline, Rell vetoed two health care reform bills that the House and the Senate passed in the regular legislative session. She had until midnight to sign the bills, veto them, or do nothing and let them become law.

One of the bills would have opened up  the state's health insurance plan to municipalities, small businesses and nonprofit agencies. The second one would have created a new public authority to develop a plan to extend coverage to the state's uninsured.

Supporters of the bill, including unions and health care advocates, had been pressuring Rell to sign the bills.  A foundation that supports universal health care rallied at the State Capitol Tuesday,  and similar rallies have been taking place around the state in recent weeks.

With the state facing a nearly $9 billion budget deficit, the governor has been reluctant to sign any bill that carries a price tag.  Last year she vetoed a piece of legislation similar to one of the bills being proposed this year.  In her veto message Wednesday, the Governor said that while the bills mean well, they simply do not consider the economic realities of our times.

Supporters of the bills criticized the vetoes, saying they hope the state legislature overrides them within the next few weeks.

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