The Purpose of the ACLU’s UHIP Lawsuit

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Obviously, I agree with the thrust of the ACLU’s lawsuit against the state of Rhode Island over its poorly conceived and implemented Unified Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP).  You don’t get much more anti-UHIP than me.

However, in the interest of asking questions nobody else is asking in order to keep us always thinking, I can’t help but wonder: What is the purpose of this lawsuit?

The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) announced Friday the details of a lawsuit it’s filed against the state over its new benefits eligibility system.

The class action lawsuit claims the state has failed to timely provide benefits to needy families due in part to its troubled transition to the Unified Health Infrastructure Project – otherwise known as UHIP.

Honest question:  If the incentives of politics, pressure from the federal government, and basic human decency aren’t driving bureaucrats and elected officials from the State of Rhode Island to do everything they can to resolve these problems, why would the expense and distraction of a lawsuit from the ACLU make the difference?  If the ACLU is simply piling on, the organization would arguably be making the problem worse.



  • Raymond Carter

    For all the whining about access the ACLU has done nothing as the sleazy, scummy Court system has quietly, in the last few days, taken access to PUBLIC criminal records off the Court Connect site where they have been for 15 years.
    Media take note

    • Max

      More like complete incompetence. It’s all a part of their new paperless system and it’s a mess. The only reason you don’t hear more about it in the media is because only a small percentage of the public even new about Court Connect. The larger mess is it’s incompatibility with current law enforcement interfaces. They went through the same debacle with the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal last year and didn’t learn a thing from it. Given the current state of affairs with UHIP and the Registry, the media would have a field day with this if they ever latched on.

  • Max

    I have no use for the ACLU but my question up until the feds shut off the tap was who will hold the State accountable. Now that the tap has been shut off, it’s kind of a moot point. Now lets see if the Gov holds anyone accountable.

  • Guest

    I think what the RI ACLU is trying to do with the lawsuit is through court order create some type of accountability for managerial and executive state orders. RI has been great at keeping who is responsible a moving target on the major projects so they continuously get promoted up the chain of command and the blame get shifted onto outside vendors.
    I managed a full blown project between different agencies that included Federal and State funds plus we were charge-back meaning we charged for our services to maintain self-sufficiency break even costs. We did so well RI got ranked one of the top 10 in the USA by the Feds. When I was retiring I asked for a 90-day trainee to take my place because I was brought up with the old paper methods of doing business and went through the pains of modernization with computer databases but I still knew who to call for manual processing when computers botched things up. My request for a 90-day trainee was denied so I retired with no one trained to take my position and since then the program has died. Pretty much my whole generation of state workers up into management and directors levels has retired and taken our collective intellectual properties with us leaving no trained backups and most of us have moved out of state because RI throws its senior citizens and retirees both civilian
    and military under the bus.

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