The Roberts Paradox
Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts last night kicked off a statewide tour in South Providence to promote her health-care plan, making the first of 15 stops…With respect to the illegal immigration issue mentioned by Ms. Needham, Lieutenant Governor Roberts has adopted the position that it is out-of-bounds for the state of Rhode Island to verify the citizenship/legal residency status of its new hires, believing it either to be too big a job for the government to handle, or maybe just unreasonable to ask. Yet at the same time, according to her healthcare legislation, Lt. Governor Roberts also believes that state government is ready and able to take on the burden of verifying the health insurance coverage status of every Rhode Islander…
Similar to the Massachusetts system, the Roberts plan would require nearly all Rhode Islanders to have health coverage. Businesses with more than 10 employees would be expected to purchase insurance for their workers, or face fines. Individuals making at least $40,840 and families making $82,600 would be asked to purchase their own health care. The plan would also create a HealthHub, a quasi-public agency to help coordinate purchasing and regulate plans…
Roberts made only brief mention of the immigration issue. “This week I’ve been discouraged with how we do things in this state. But I still have confidence we can work together,” she said, segueing back to the evening’s conversation.
44-30-101. Qualified coverage required — (c) Every person required to file an individual income tax return as a resident of the state of Rhode Island, either separately or jointly with a spouse, shall indicate on the return, in a manner prescribed by the tax administrator, whether such person, as of the last day for the taxable year for which the return is filed:Tell me, which sounds like an easier job to do, verifying the health insurance status of every Rhode Islander every year, or verifying the citizenship status of new state employees, one time, at the time of hire? The contrast emphasizes an obvious reality, that enforcing immigration law is something that certain politicians don’t want to do, not something they believe can’t be done.
(i) has qualified coverage in force as required under subsection 44-30-101(a) whether covered as an individual or as a named beneficiary of a policy covering multiple individuals; or
(ii) claims an exemption under section 44-30-102.
(d) If a person required to obtain and maintain qualified coverage under subsection 44-30-101(a) above who files a tax return in Rhode Island does not indicate on the return that he or she had such coverage in force, or if the person indicates that he or she had such coverage in force but the tax administrator determines, based on the information available to him or her, that such requirement of subsection 44-30-101(a) was not met, then the tax administrator shall compute the tax for the taxable year based on one less personal exemption, as set forth in section 44-30-2.6, than would otherwise be allowed….
44-30-103. Review — An individual subject to section 44-30-101 who disputes the determination of applicability, as enforced by the department of revenue, may seek a review of this determination through an appeal established by the division of taxation under section 44-30-89; provided, however, that no additional penalties shall be enforced against an individual seeking review until the review is complete and any subsequent appeals have been exhausted.
I suppose that you might reach the conclusion that government doesn’t have the time or resources to take the steps to prevent foreign nationals from breaking the law, as Lt. Governor Roberts apparently has, if you subscribe to the idea that the most important function of government is managing as tightly as possible the lives of law-abiding, gainfully employed citizens and residents. Still, it is legitimate to ask the Lt. Governor why she believes that government is competent enough to track the health insurance coverage of 1,000,000 Rhode Island residents on a year-to-year basis, but unable to reasonably determine the citizenship status of new state hires one-time.
Or does she just believe that illegal aliens are entitled to state jobs?