First, the Stick

Amazingly, even as they stumble into understanding of that which is making it hard to breathe in Rhode Island, they continue to tighten the noose:

In an effort to slow down the steep rise of health insurance costs in Rhode Island, Sen. Joshua Miller has introduced legislation that would prohibit health insurers in the state from increasing subscribers’ premiums by more than 10 percent a year.
“Huge increases in premiums are pushing health insurance out of reach for more Rhode Islanders every year. Even people who have good jobs and decent salaries are struggling to pay their share of it, let alone those who aren’t insured through their employers and have to pay the whole cost on their own,” said Senator Miller, a Democrat who represents District 28 in Cranston and Warwick. “Of course insurers have to be able to raise their prices to cover costs, but average Rhode Islanders simply can’t afford the size of some of the increases that have been proposed. There has to be a limit on them.” …
He says those experiences have made him aware of the pressures on the insurance industry, and also of the possible solutions that are available to make rates more reasonable.
“We’ve been examining both sides of this issue, and there are many underlying components that contribute to increased costs for health insurers. There are a wide range of solutions available, but until consensus has been reached within the industry about implementing them, the state should step in with some limits. In fact, these limits may accelerate the implementation of those reforms,” said Senator Miller.

So, the legislator understands that there are “solutions” that we ought to pursue, but in the meantime, he’s just gonna go ahead and continue with the approach that has had such wonderful results in Rhode Island thus far. Do these people think that if they mix a bit of “I know we shouldn’t be so demanding” into their rhetoric, then folks will cease to be concerned about the increasing demands?
(Let whining about “right-wingers on the side of corporations” begin.)

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16 years ago

What happens if the insurance companies simply close up shop and leave?
Clueless. Absolutely clueless.

16 years ago

He’s really setting the bar high at 6 times the inflation rate. LOL.
Of course, as Monique pointed out, as this is not progressive Cuba the company’s could “walk”.
I’d love to see the already incoherent Miller and Roberts explain THAT result of their pathetic “health care initiatives”.

16 years ago

Just because Montanaro Sr. is leaving Blue Cross doesn’t mean the Union-Blue Cross-Democrat collusion is going away.
You know the ONLY reason a stupid liberal would suggest a 10 percent increase is because of their allegiance to Blue Cross.
The first step is to break the Blue Cross monopoly (which is something you are not going to hear from Senator Brewhouse).
Next you need to “enlighten” state and municiple employees to the fact that health care isn’t “free”, somebody’s paying for it. The sooner they start paying a fair share, the sooner they’ll like the idea of competition.

16 years ago

I’m sorry – I didn’t realize trying to get a better deal for the average consumer was such an evil liberal thing. Silly me.

16 years ago

When your so-called better deal is not so thinly veiled socialism, then, yeah, it is an “evil liberal thing.”
He’s talking about enacting price controls — and they always fail miserably and make the “problem” even worse than it was originally. Apparently, some of you are not familiar with the Law of Unintended Consequences.
If a health insurer’s (or any company’s) costs are going up at a faster pace than they can charge/pass through to consumers, they don’t stay in business very long, especially if they are non-profits to begin with. Unless you can control the cost drivers, you can’t successfully control the ultimate price charged. Unfortunately, the only way you might be able to do that is by paying doctors and hospitals even less (which means they might not accept the coverage), by restricting care for those already insured, or by dropping coverage altogether for people who are considered “too costly.”
I’m not sure the proposal is much worth discussing further in any real detail. It’s well-intentioned, feel good stuff, but totally deviod and ignorant of reality. It’s not going anywhere — even the General Assembly leadership isn’t stupid enough to get behind something like that (which is really saying something!).

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