Studying Rhode Island Health Care System Changes

Armen Hareyan's picture

Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts (D) on Friday announced the "Mission: Healthy Rhode Island" initiative, which consists of a series of meetings to consider health care proposals an dmake recommendations to the 2008 General Assembly, the Providence Journal reports.

Roberts at a meeting on Friday told the group of about 60representatives from state businesses, hospitals, health insurance agencies,labor, advocacy and not-for-profit groups and state lawmakers that the state's expected $450 million budget shortfall should not hinder discussions about ways to stabilize health care costs and provide low-cost coverage to uninsured residents.


Roberts said the state will study other states' efforts to overhaul health care, adding,"We are looking at what other states have done and what is doable in Rhode Island." However, she said she would not seek to change the employer-sponsored health care system.

She noted that budget limitations could limit efforts to expand coverage because one-third of the state's expenses are allocated for health care programs such as RIte Care and Medicaid. Roberts will hold seven more similar meetings in the next few months (MacKay, Providence Journal, 11/17).

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