Reading the Fine Print on Healthcare

When one brushes away the rhetoric, one finds the contradictions beneath.
In one post, RIFuture notes Charlie Fogarty’s new healthcare plan, which, I discovered after wading through the usual political policy mire, will be funded in part as follows:

Rather than spending state tax dollars on tax cuts for the wealthy few, high-priced consultants and lawyers, and tax breaks for out-of-state corporations, I will set state spending priorities that focus on reforming our health care system.

Yet in another post, RIFuture crows about Inc.com magazine’s poor rating of Governor Carcieri’s performance, which rating comes with the following explanation:

After years of haggling, Carcieri and the Democratic-led general assembly agreed in 2006 on a set of tax reforms that, while not exactly comprehensive, are a good start—including an alternative flat tax that will lower the effective top income tax bracket to 5.5 percent from 9.9 percent over five years.

Presumably RIFuture’s Matt Jerzyk wouldn’t agree with Inc.com that Fogarty’s healthcare plan would undo a “good start” of Carcieri’s. Be that as it may, according to Inc.com, businesses “in the Ocean State face some of the highest [tax] rates and most complicated requirements in the country.” According to Fogarty’s plan description, he would make “large corporations who do not provide health insurance pay their fair share.”
As is all too common in this state, Fogarty is attempting to sell voters some charitable-sounding rhetoric that, if actuated into policy would drive businesses — and jobs and tax revenue — out, increase the burden on those who remain, and, on top of it all, force more people onto the publicly funded segment of his healthcare plan. As for where those funds will come from, we’ll just have see whom politicians promise to “just make” pick up the tab.
We’d be better off if the average citizens of Rhode Island would at long last make politicians provide us our fair share of representation.

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John
John
14 years ago

Charlie could have made his new policy much simpler. If you own a home daycare business, you can make up to $70,000 (witih a family of four) and still be eligible for deeply subsidized (by the taxpayers) RiteCare health insurance. And the coverage you get is much better than what others pay $12,000 to obtain for your family from Blue Cross.
All Charlie had to do is say that every Rhode Island family (based on four people) who makes $70,000 or less and doesn’t get health insurance through their employer can get RiteCare — just like the people who own home daycare businesses.
Right away, our “health insurance crisis” would be solved — except for that pesky problem of who would pay.

Greg
Greg
14 years ago

What’s with the sudden focus on what RIFuture is saying day in and day out?
If I cared what the kook fringe on the left had to say (and I don’t) I’d go to those sites myself.

Tim
Tim
14 years ago

I invite Inc Magazine to set up shop in our fair state for one year. I then invite them to write another critique of Governor Carcieri and how this state operates.
I guarantee it will be vastly different. lol
One has to be in Rhode Island and observing and understanding the nuances of the insider game with companies like Blue Cross and Beacon Mutual and the impact that inside game has on small businesses already here and the impact on the states ability not only to attract outside companies to relocate here but simply to do business here.
One can rightfully question the motives of any media, be it Bob Woodward or Inc magazine, who publish their criticques of politcal leaders one month before an election.
Justin all due respect to you but referencing Matt Jerzyk is a disservice to your blog. Jerzyk and his blog are not in the same intellectual or content league with you. You’re all grown up, he’s junior high school and the content of each blog proves the point.

Tom W
Tom W
14 years ago

Not that it will be a revelation to anyone who regularly reads this blog, but Fogarty is an empty suit who will be a rubber stamp for the public sector unions and welfare industry, i.e., the Democratic Party.
ISN’T IT INTERESTING that NOWHEREin his television ads does it mention that he is a DEMOCRAT. One must conclude that his handlers realize that if he does so, people will realize that he is just another tax and spender, and that his “ethics” agenda is just a campaign charade.
Speaking of his “ethics” agenda – if he really intended to push this, the leadership of his own party would be undermining his campaign. Their silence and support (not to mention union endorsements) speaks volumes.
If elected, he’ll introduce his “ethics” legislation (so he can say he kept his word), and it will die in committee. All in keeping with the pre-arranged wink and nod he has going with the Democratic leadership.
God help RI if he is elected, he and his special interest controllers (the aforementioned unions and welfare industry) will tax and spend this state back to the Stone Age.

Matt Jerzyk
Matt Jerzyk
14 years ago

Hey Justin,
The ‘good start’ that Inc refers to is not Carcieri’s health care plan – it is reform of the state’s tax system. And, i’m sure that the big corporations that would be affected by Fogarty’s health care plan – like Wal-Mart – wouldn’t dare come to Rhode Island if they had to pay a few thousand dollars more on their health insurance. They CAN’T be that interested in market domination, can they???
Perhaps Carcieri could hire Datalogic to adminster a universal health care program. They seem like quality providers…

Tom W
Tom W
14 years ago

>>And, i’m sure that the big corporations that would be affected by Fogarty’s health care plan – like Wal-Mart – wouldn’t dare come to Rhode Island if they had to pay a few thousand dollars more on their health insurance. They CAN’T be that interested in market domination, can they???
Matt:
Corporations don’t pay for health care, any more than they pay taxes.
These are all borne by the ultimate consumer.
The reason the left-wingers / collectivists like “corporate” taxes and mandates is that, like VAT taxes, the actual tax burden is hidden from the ultimate taxpayer.
“Universal health care” a/k/a socialized medicine is a recipe for high taxes, low quality, and death by long waits and scarcity.

Justin Katz
14 years ago

Matt,
I understand that the “good start” refers to tax reform. What you’ve missed is the specific point from Fogarty’s release that I quoted (emphasis added):

Rather than spending state tax dollars on tax cuts for the wealthy few, high-priced consultants and lawyers, and tax breaks for out-of-state corporations, I will set state spending priorities that focus on reforming our health care system.

That, by the way, is under the “How Will HOPE Health Be Financed?” heading.

SusanD
SusanD
14 years ago

“… the impact that inside game has on small businesses already here and the impact on the states ability not only to attract outside companies to relocate here but simply to do business here.”
Indeed. Add to this the specter of forced health care coverage? Keep in mind that Mass does not have socialized medicine; i.e., coverage paid for by the state. They simply stuck a gun to the head of most private businesses.
RI already has the 48th worst business climate in the country. This would be viewed by businesses thinking of locating here as yet another reason not to.
Rhode Island Democrats like Charlie haven’t figured out that when they drive enough businesses away, no one will be left to pay for the bloated state gov’t and social benefits that they are so fond of.

RI GOP
RI GOP
14 years ago

Don Carcieri is a the same kind of Republican that are infestating Washington DC: big spenders. Gambling has expanded more under his administration than any other. I’m with Fogarty.

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