It appears the Rhode Island Legislature will debate a measure that could create a statewide, universal, affordable single payer health care insurance program in the state.
The measure is authored by State Rep David Morales and State Senator Sam Bell. They are calling for passage this year.
"Healthcare is a human right,” said Representative Morales of Providence. “It should not be exclusive, expensive or accessible only to the fortunate. Despite our country’s wealth, thousands of working people and families lack the medical care and treatment they need. For too long, we’ve accepted the ineffective status quo and all the harm it has caused to Rhode Islanders. It is time we radically transform our health care system and establish a single-payer Medicare-for-all health care system that guarantees comprehensive health care coverage to all Rhode Islanders free of out-of-pocket expenses or co-payments, regardless of socioeconomic status.”
Providence State Senator Sa, Bell said, “The resources that we currently invest in health care are all too often being hoarded by the for-profit entities involved in this broken system, creating inflated costs and placing care out of reach for many. We need a bold shakeup that uses our health resources for health, not corporate profits. With our small size and compactness, Rhode Island could effectively provide fertile ground for the growth of a more efficient way to fund and deliver health care.
According to the lawmakers, the single payer system will allow for residents to pay less for their health care as well as getting comprehensive coverage that will include besides medical, dental, vision and mental health.
The program will be paid for by the consolidation of government and private payments that have gone to multiple insurance carriers and instead funnel them into one, more efficient program.
The legislation has the support of Physicians for a National Health Program Rhode Island.
It is unclear when lawmakers will debate the proposal.
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)