The legislative onslaught from the left has begun. As the poster child of their desire for government-control over the lives of residents and businesses, Rhode Island’s progressive-Democrats announced they will introduce legislation this week to establish an estimated $13.2 billion single-payer health insurance system. Imagine a new tax that takes massive amounts of more money out of your paycheck, imagine reduced access to critical care for your sick child, imagine lower public funding for schools, and imagine more business and jobs fleeing our state. This is why no other state in the nation has has ever passed such radical legislation. It would bankrupt our entire state.
The House (H7285) and Senate (S5069) versions of the bills will be sponsored by Representative Aaron Regunberg and Senator Jeanine Calkin, repsectively. Supporters of the bill make the fake claim that healthcare is “a fundamental human right.” Nothing can be a right if somebody else is forced to pay for it or provide it. Conversely, real rights are based on liberty, not coercion, and do not infringe on anyone else’s rights.
In 2015, the same progressive economist cited as an expert by Regunberg and Calkin in their media release, University of Massachusetts at Amherst Professor Gerald Friedman, published a report estimating the potential effects of a single-payer healthcare system in Rhode Island.
Friedman gained notoriety in 2016 for his economic analysis supporting the economic plan of Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders, which suggests that any bias in his analysis of single-payer health care would be toward making its outcomes look better, rather than worse. Friedman’s own report acknowledges that such a system in Rhode Island would require a $3.7 billion increase in taxpayer funding of health care. Even a cursory review, however, suggests that he greatly overestimates savings to what he estimates would actually be a $13.2 billion program.
How many more bills will we see directly from the Progressive Land of Make Believe this legislation session?