Governor Gina Raimondo today signed an executive order to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, from the Trump administration’s ongoing attempts to undermine the program. The executive order charges state agencies, including the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), HealthSource RI (HSRI) and the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner with “taking all necessary actions to protect access to quality healthcare, maintaining affordability and ensuring the public is informed and educated about their options.”
“I take nine prescription medications in the morning and five medications at night,” said Richard Muto of the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island, who is also a brain injury survivor. “These medications basically keep me alive. My employer is not able to offer health insurance and so I depend upon the Affordable Care Act for my health care. The ACA allows me to continue on my journey of recovery from brain injury.”
“It is important to take a step back and recognize why this is so significant. We have the fourth highest insured rate in the country, meaning the vast majority of Rhode Islanders have protection from the unforeseen. They know if they get sick or are in an accident, they don’t have to choose between financial ruin and getting necessary treatments,” said Governor Raimondo. “No matter what happens in Washington, I am committed to defending Rhode Islanders’ access to high-quality, affordable health coverage.”
Under the order, the state will look to strengthen protections in state law for
- people with preexisting conditions,
- prescription drug coverage, and
- maternity coverage.
The state will also guard against predatory health plans that discriminate based on pre-existing conditions and do not cover essential health benefits such as mental health and maternity costs.
“The state is committed to protecting access to healthcare to ensure a future where more, not less, Rhode Islanders have health insurance,” said HSRI Director Zach Sherman. “Individuals and families who depend on the Affordable Care Act for health coverage should rest assured that because of the state’s protective actions, they will continue to see quality, low-cost options this Open Enrollment.”
“We cannot afford to lose the gains we’ve made as a result of the ACA,” said Health Insurance Commissioner Dr Marie Ganim. “The Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner will continue to work with the Governor and the General Assembly to protect Rhode Island from any attempts to dismantle crucial consumer and market stability protections.”
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