Corderre Opens the Socialist Umbrella Wide on Healthcare
In a healthy political state, a legislator would be scared for her political life to propose such policies in a high tax state during a painful downturn:
Legislation introduced by Representative Coderre, (2009-H5519), would extend the reach of the RIte Track program, and establish a new “All Kids Health Insurance Program” to provide access to health insurance for an additional 1,000 to 2,000 or more children in the state.
The bill, which is before the House Committee on Finance, would extend RIte Care eligibility to children from families earning 300 percent of the federal poverty level, an increase from the current 250 percent. There are approximately 1,900 uninsured children in this income bracket, and the legislation would enable these children to enroll in RIte Care for an annual monthly premium of $135.
The bill also implements a buy-in program for children living in families with incomes over 300 percent FPL. Families taking advantage of the buy-in option would pay the full cost of the premium (which would include administrative and medical costs), to be determined by the Department of Human Services. It is estimated that 4,900 children in Rhode Island live in families with incomes above 300 percent FPL who don’t have health insurance.
The legislation also reinstates coverage for immigrant children under age 10 who are lawful permanent residents in Rhode Island, restoring eligibility for about 1,100 legal permanent resident children who lost coverage during under last year’s state budget, and including an anticipated 200 children per year in the future.
Three times the poverty level would be $52,800 for a family of three, $63,600 for a family of four, and $74,400 for a family of five. I’ve got the personal perspective that this legislation would bring my family within the coverage umbrella, and I’ll admit that the only reason I’m struggling is a burden of debt, and my preferred solution to solving that problem would be to increase the opportunities for advancement available to my wife and me. Growing government would do the opposite, as the government seeks somebody to pay the expanding bill.
If we really want universal healthcare coverage, the solution is to decouple insurance from employment, chip away at the growing body of mandates and regulations, and make base-line coverage mandatory. Solutions like Coderre’s will push us all closer to the pit.