It’s not that there’s not valid questions about how we are going to pay for a plan that will insure everyone, and it’s not that there’s not reason to be wary of the details, but Governor Carcieri’s stance is–no we can’t.
Using language that pits uninsured Americans against insured ‘taxpayers’– as if uninsured don’t pay taxes, as if any working person isn’t at risk of losing their insurance along with their job– this is not leadership, it’s division.
Using undocumented immigrants as a scare tactic is something the Governor has been doing for years. His business experience hasn’t translated into better employment for the state, and he does a lot more for big business than small business. Never mind workers. Emergency rooms across the state are feeling the strain as people come in for routine care they can’t get anywhere else. Rhode Islanders are losing jobs and health care and the Governor has no constructive solutions.
Today’s ProJo editorial supports a public option to control costs and insure people who would not be well served by private plans. A little competition won’t hurt either.
And another thing. Representatives of Lifespan were at the meeting. Rhode Island Hospital emergency room is one of the places of last resort for people who have no primary care. They have a lot to gain by reform that insures all Rhode Islanders and keeps non-emergency cases out of the emergency room. Big hospitals are compensated for the free care they give, so actually we already are paying. It’s just that we’re paying for fragmented, money-driven, ineffective care. We can keep applying duct tape to the bottom of the boat and pray it sticks, or we can face reality and fix it right.