Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho and Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon today urged Senate Majority leaders to convene a special committee to address skyrocketing public health care premiums.
Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho and Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon today urged Senate Majority leaders to convene a special committee to address skyrocketing public health care premiums. (©iStock.com)
The full text of the letter (click here for PDF) is below:
October 13, 2022
Honorable Nicholas P. Scutari
Honorable M. Teresa Ruiz
Senate Majority Leader
Honorable Paul A. Sarlo
Chair, Senate Budget Committee
Dear Senators Scutari, Ruiz and Sarlo:
We are writing to respectfully request that if you will not convene a special committee to review and address skyrocketing public health care premium increases — as Republican Senators have unanimously supported — that the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee be charged with a similar mission on an immediate basis.
As you know, Republicans sponsored legislation to establish a special committee to investigate the causes of more than 20% increases in State and local employee/retiree premium increases. We believe a special committee would have the singular focus necessary to effectively explore and explain the failure of the Murphy Administration to disclose premium increases in a timely manner and to compel their production of critical information that has been withheld from public employee unions, and the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services on behalf of all legislators. Such a commission would allow for a better understanding of what is driving the increases and development of recommendations to improve transparency and prevent further increases.
We continue to believe the creation of a special committee is the most appropriate venue for investigating and halting health premium increases that will crush taxpayers as well as employees and retirees who share in the costs. But if that option is not acceptable to you, perhaps an appropriate alternative is to convene the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for this purpose. The committee could not only call witnesses and produce information that has been withheld by the Administration, but it could also consider and improve legislation being advanced by our colleagues on both sides of the aisle that would enhance transparency and help control costs.
Failing to create a commission with a singular purpose or appropriately charge the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee to address the matter would be an unacceptable dereliction of the duty to give this issue the attention it deserves.
We appreciate your consideration of this request.
Steven V. Oroho
Senate Republican Leader
Declan J. O’Scanlon Jr.
Republican Budget Officer