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In 2008, the Democrat-controlled legislature passed a bill that would have established The Connecticut Health Care Partnership, enabling small businesses with fewer than 50 employees (as well as municipal employees) to buy into the state's health care pool, which is currently only open to state employees. That pool allows a variety of insurance vendors to participate, but they have to meet certain price and benefit requirements.

Connecticut Speaker of the House Christopher Donovan says that in doing their research, lawmakers traveled around the state talking to small businesses and insurance carriers. They found that small businesses in particular were paying much higher premiums - for lesser benefits - than what employees in the state's health care pool were receiving.

But Republican governor M. Jodi Rell vetoed the bill, saying that the plan didn't do enough to increase the number of insured people in the state, exaggerated the savings to small business, and would have a "potentially enormous" cost to taxpayers. This year the legislature plans to take it up again immediately, and the governor has expressed her desire to work on a revised version that could pass this session.

NEXT: New Hampshire

LAST UPDATE: Jan 28 2009 | 9:53 AM ET
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