Important Questions for Rhode Island In A Reshaped Healthcare Landscape

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If the final federal healthcare law that eventually emerges from Washington, D.C. is similar to the version that passed the House of Representatives in early May of 2017, Rhode Island lawmakers will find themselves in the middle of largely reshaped federal and state healthcare landscape. Soon they may be faced with multiple important questions; and they will also realize that they will be newly empowered to make state-specific decisions for the people of Rhode Island.
  • What to do with HealthSourceRI?
  • Should RI apply for Medicaid block grant waivers? Or a waiver to set up its own high-risk pool?
  • Should RI reduce mandated-coverage and allow cross-state sales?
  • Should work-requirements, cost-sharing arrangements, or time-limits be placed on Medicaid benefits? Are Medicaid vouchers a good idea?
Does Rhode Island want a transparent healthcare market that relies on the free-enterprise system and that enables providers and patients to craft and choose their own plans, driving down the price for consumers? Or do we want to continue with a government-controlled market that mandates what individuals, employers and insurers must provide and buy, with continually increasing premiums and deductibles? The choice should be up to the real people of our state.
In short, the concept of a government-run health insurance market has failed. Rhode Islanders will be better served when they have expanded options to purchase or enroll in one of the many new plans that will best meet their needs at the lowest possible price, and at quality levels. If only lawmakers were to realize that there are answers, we could restore prosperity to the Ocean State. I encourage you to speak out against the insiders who want to further their own agenda, while your family is kept out of the process.


  • Guest

    “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care,” the Republican congressman from Idaho said in response to a statement by a woman that the “lack of health care was essentially asking people to die,” according to local CBS station KLEW.

    • Mike678

      Thanks for the opinions. Your point?

      • Guest

        If you have NO Medical Insurance, federal law indicates if
        you show up at a hospital ER they must treat you and cannot turn you away. Every time a person with NO insurance uses a hospital ER we all pay the increased
        medical insurance rate to cover that person’s care. There is no accountability in the system for people not having even the basic of basic medical insurance due to the federal medical care mandate.

        Obamacare was modeled after Massachusetts GOP Mitt Romneycare and as a matter of fact some of the same writers that crafted GOP Romneycare crafted Obamacare. The difference between the two is the no insurance funding
        stream where GOP Romneycare gets funding from the federal Medicaid source and Obamacare had to go the tax route outside the federal Medicaid program to create the no insurance funding stream source to hold the individual
        accountable and pay for basic medical services.

        People in Massachusetts at first were highly against GOP
        Romneycare but as the problems with it were solved things got better and better making it a highly touted state-wide medical insurance program. Over time, the medical insurance rates reduced to some of the lowest in nation. Massachusetts is the only state in the United States to have the absolutely lowest uninsured medical insurance population in the nation.

        Hawaii was the first state in nation to have a state-wide mandated medical insurance plan (Prepaid Health Care Act of 1974) which was paid by all employers covering any worker who worked 20 hours or more a week. At one time Hawaii had the lowest uninsured medical insurance population in the nation but is now ranked second (2015 approximately 5% of total state-wide population) behind Massachusetts and our medical insurance costs have significantly decreased.

        • Mike678

          “There is no accountability in the system for people not having even the basic of basic medical insurance due to the federal medical care mandate.”

          Agreed. Are you telling us that Obamacare provides accountability? Was everyone insured? And what would your rates be if the State had to fund your health care costs instead of being subsidized heavily by the Feds?

          • Guest

            NO—what I said in comparison Massachusetts GOP Romneycare to Obamacare; Romneycare was able to use the federal Medicaid fallback for a
            funding source for medical insurance uninsured people whereas Obamacare is a federal program and had to look elsewhere for a funding source hence the tax on people who did not buy medical insurance. A form of accountability for still being able to receive medical care without having the basic of basic medical insurance and being a financial drag on the medical care system driving rates up.

            There are still people in Massachusetts that have not purchased medical insurance and also in Hawaii which is still causing medical insurance rates to be high.

            As far as I am concerned, no state will ever have 100% population buy in to medical health insurance as there will always be free loaders to the system.

            In Hawaii there is a state medical program for the really disadvantaged called Hawaii Med-QUEST which is based on your ability to pay on a sliding scale. Depending on your annual income level you may qualify for Medicaid with medical insurance via Hawaii Blue Cross Blue Shield as low as $9 a week
            and of course as your annual income goes up so does your ability to pay for larger more expansive medical insurance plans via Obamacare if you are not already covered by Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act of 1974 which is paid for by the Hawaii company you work for (20 or more hours a week) or if you are age 65 and older covered by Medicare retirement medical insurance paid for via payroll
            tax deduction.

  • Raymond Carter

    Which is quite true. EVERYONE, including illegal aliens, gets health care in this country.

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