The Roberts Paradox

Cynthia Needham reports in today’s Projo on the beginning of Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts’ statewide tour to promote her proposed new healthcare mandates…

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…
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.
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…
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:
(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.
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 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?

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16 years ago

Lt. Gov. Roberts is on a ship-wide tour to promote her ideas about deck chair placement on the Titanic.

16 years ago

F.Y.I. The Titanic was sunk by an iceberg. You and your hysterical fellow travellers barely make up an ice cube. She’ll sail right by you and yours. No problem.

16 years ago

I believe that in common parlance you are the fellow traveler while I am the wingnut. Ice cube, iceberg, doesn’t matter. What sunk the Titanic was arrogance, complacency and a lack of common sense. That is what will sink RI also. The ElTee should be working on something of more immediate value. We cannot afford her plan, we cannot even afford to give it a cursory glance. If she can’t come up with some legitimate tasks to perform, then she could take Bob Healy’s advice about the office and its unnecessary drain on our overstretched finances.

16 years ago

I called you a fellow traveller because I wanted to use an obsolete term to describe an obsolete person with obsolete ideas.
What will sink you are, arrogance, complacency and a lack of common sense.
I repeat. “She’ll sail right by you and yours. No problem.”

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
16 years ago

Roberts got a little shocked,I would say by the overwhelmingly negative reaction to what she did.It’s one thing for clergymen to side with illegal aliens-they have no public oath of office and are accountable only to their co-religionists’
Roberts took an oath to uphold the US and RI Constitutions and all applicable laws-she reneged on it by endorsing resistance to the rule of law.If we are ruled by emotion instead of law,watch out.It’s the fastest road to national suicide.
Most of the hate speech I’ve heard and read is in the left wing blogs and from “humantarian”activists.The hatred hurled at the Governor is indicative of the narrow party line mentality of those lionizing illegal aliens.

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