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“Only Fools Rush In” Reject the Ill-Fated Special Session!

Any special session where the medicine would be worse than the cure is pure folly. But some legislators are advocating for a special session to craft a deal that would allow for the creation of much-needed Association Health Plans in exchange for mandating paid sick time for small business. This is a fool’s bargain and should be outright rejected!

Bipartisan advocates have been gaining momentum in pushing to lower the costs for small business through the creation of Association Health Plans (AHP). These plans reduce costs, end needless regulation, and allow for the creation of risk pools consisting of small businesses.

The legal framework for creating these plans should pass based solely on the merits. Every legislator should be striving to make our state more affordable and business friendly.

AHP’s create competition and allow access to a broader market that will directly benefit small businesses and those who work for them. Although reduced costs may not be ideal for the Insurance Lobby, it’s remarkable to see progressives — self-proclaimed friends of the working class — obstructing an effort to benefit small business employees.

Less remarkable is that progressive legislators (and their union handlers) are seeking to manipulate moderate Democrats and Republicans into negotiating against themselves. In most special sessions, floor debates and amendments are often only political theater. If a session is called, often a deal has already been made behind closed doors, away from public scrutiny.

Legislators sometimes talk about “win/win” negotiations, with both sides compromising to find a balance of interests. In reality, this is frequently an illusion, where one side has allowed the other to claim a win on previously dictated terms. Although political horse trading will always be present in our republic, only fools trade for a dead horse and then claim victory.

Fortunately, House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford is no fool. According to CT Inside Investigator, Candelora is wise to the progressives’ and unions’ ruse, stating, “I understand the need to get affordable health care, especially in light of the expiration of all the COVID subsidies that were put in place, but to suggest that we need to trade a healthcare fix by extracting pain from small businesses by imposing paid sick leave on every company is offensive.”

On a bipartisan basis, legislators and the public alike need to apply pressure to ensure commonsense Association Health Plans become a reality in our state. In the same breath, they should outright reject any fool’s bargain that provides political cover for those seeking to heap further destructive mandates on Connecticut’s already-struggling small businesses.

They’re the backbone of our economy, fostering innovation, job creation, and community growth. But when state-mandated sick day policies are imposed upon them, their businesses face significant challenges, with effects that ripple outward to their employees and the public.

When their costs of doing business increase, small businesses find themselves confronted with difficult choices including being forced to cut jobs and/or hours assigned to employees, or halt expansion to avoid hitting arbitrary thresholds at which policy makers’ new mandates kick in. Sometimes, they must pass on additional costs to consumers or avoid increasing employee compensation due to the state intervening in the employee, employer relationship.

All too often, policymakers are comfortably insulated from the consequences of their policies. Many who dictate the details of how Connecticut’s small and medium sized businesses must be run have themselves never risked creating a small business, growing it to create more jobs, managed debt or balanced a profit and loss sheet.

It is not necessary to saddle our businesses with a new, destructive mandate simply in order to lower costs for small businesses by enabling Association Health Care plans. Rather than rushing into ill-conceived deals that give with one hand but take with the other, legislators should focus on sound policies that foster a business-friendly environment and benefit workers and employers alike.

Let’s reject this ruse and ensure that our state’s policies truly support the backbone of our economy—small businesses.



Frank Ricci

Frank was the lead plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case Ricci v. DeStefano and has testified before Congress. He has lectured at the Reagan Library and has been a lead consultant on several studies for the Yale School of Medicine. Frank has appeared on Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Cavuto Live, Hardball, NBC Nightly News, Fox & Friends, and other notable news shows. He is a contributing author to several books and a contributor to the Daily Caller. Frank retired as a Battalion Chief & Union President for New Haven Fire Fighters and has been awarded numerous commendations including the medal of valor. He serves on the advisory board for Fire Engineering Magazine. Frank lives with his wife in Wallingford, CT.

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