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Editorial & Opinion

Support Rhode Island single payer



The enormous costs of healthcare cannot be controlled by hospital closures and buyouts or cutting Medicaid funding. The solution is to pass legislation to create an improved medicare-for-all single payer system.

While critics focus on “higher taxes,” they ignore the fact that Rhode Islanders already pay much more to private corporations in the form of health insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles.

The proposed legislation would end those whopping private costs and substitute lower progressive taxes: 10 percent payroll and 10 percent unearned income (capital gains, dividends, interest and rent). Moreover, the initial tax rates will be adjusted, and tax credits or exemptions used, to ensure small businesses, working families, and lower income earners are protected.

Under the proposed Rhode Island single payer program, the vast majority of Rhode Islanders–all those making less than $150,000 a year–will see a decrease in their annual medical expenditures and expanded coverage of medically necessary care. Wealthier Rhode Islanders will see a relatively small increase in their expenditures. On average, Rhode Islanders will save about $4,000/year on their medical expenses by 2026.

The state single payer legislation introduced by Representative Aaron Regunberg (Democrat, District 4, Providence) and Senator Jeanine Calkin (Democrat, District 30, Warwick) offers more comprehensive health insurance coverage for less than what we are currently “taxed” by the private health insurance companies.

For more information, go to:

I urge you to support Rhode Island single payer legislation (H7285,  S. #TBA).

About the Author

Linda Ujifusa is the co-chair of the Rhode Island Healthcare Access & Affordability Partnership (RIHAAP).