June 16, 2009

The Worms Come Out When It Rains on Healthcare

Justin Katz

These people aren't fit to lead:

[A citizen] opposed the [health insurance] rate hikes, as did other speakers including Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts and state Rep. Edwin Pacheco, D-Burillville. Roberts, who has been working with business leaders, opposed any hikes until the state can develop a plan for affordable health care. Pacheco and Assistant Attorney General Genevieve Martin, speaking on behalf of Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch, both criticized Koller for not holding a formal rate hearing, in which evidence for and against the rate hikes is presented and witnesses testify and face cross-examination. The lack of such a hearing, said Martin, "is an injustice to the people of this state."

Her suggestion of explicitly freezing hikes until Rhode Island legislators institute significant reform is perhaps the strongest argument that Roberts has made against her candidacy for governor. If anything, such a policy would delay reform, as unrest fizzles in the face of steady rates.

More important, however, is the utter lack of leaders with a clue as to the appropriate shape of reform. Why not suspend policies that are contributing to escalating costs? Why not investigate the reason that Rhode Island has as many branches of government as healthcare insurers?

Every week it becomes more incomprehensible that Rhode Islanders continue to vote the way they do.

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"opposed any hikes until the state can develop a plan for affordable health care"

The big presumption in that statement is that health care can be made affordable.

Posted by: Monique at June 16, 2009 2:00 PM
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