Health Insurance Debate Drags On

Everybody knew it would be a "talker".   It's just that no one figured it would take at least six hours, with no end in sight.

It's the so-called "pooling" bill which opens up the state's health insurance plan to municipalities, small business, and nonprofit agencies.  Supporters, including House Speaker Christopher Donovan, say that by these groups pooling together with the state, money will be saved through greater bargaining power and by spreading the risk. 

Opponents, on the other hand, say the proposal is too risky, especially when the state is facing massive deficits.  They say that by shifting the risk from the insurers to the state might cost the state more money when there is high claims activity.

The debate on the bill began shortly after 12 noon in the House of Representatives Wednesday.  Six hours later, it was still going on. 

It is expected to pass, but Governor M. Jodi Rell vetoed a similar measure last year.

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