The line at HealthSource RI is out the door as the deadline to sign up for the new healthcare exchange is at 11:59 p.m. As people are lining up to sign up, one Gubernatorial candidate says if he is Governor he plans to change the program.
"On the last day before Rhode Islanders are subject to new taxes under Obamacare's individual mandate, it is more evident than ever that Rhode Island cannot afford Obamacare and HealthSource RI, the Obamacare exchange forced on us by Governor Chafee by executive order," said Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Ken Block. Block had previously voted for President Obama but notes that "voting for Obama was a mistake" and the "Obamacare fiasco" highlights that.
Block had choice words for the national affordable care act, "Obamacare is a horrible bill, ill-conceived, unilaterally passed by one party, and terribly implemented. Obamacare raised taxes and massively disrupted the health insurance market in Rhode Island without increasing competition, access, or affordability. The federal implementation of the bill was stupid and frankly wasteful – asking 50 states to individually develop essentially the same infrastructure on the dime of the federal taxpayer. Many of those states have dropped the ball on their implementations just like the federal government has, becoming a huge, nightmarish waste of taxpayer dollars on a national scale."
Block promised that if he is elected Governor he would consider other possibilities rather than spending $24 million annually to fund HealthSource RI. He said while it will take time to determine the best option as Governor he would not continue to let HealthSource RI exist in its current form. He suggests entering into the federal exchange or working with other states for a regional exchange as possible options.
"As a small business owner, I know firsthand the costs of Obamacare. I know how much more expensive health insurance is to purchase now than it was a year ago – and I know how much more my employees are on the hook to pay personally than they were a year ago. And, while we can't reverse all of the damage Obamacare is inflicting from the Governor's office, where I am able as Governor to make a difference, I will," said Block.
Rhode Island's congressional delegation has praised HealthSource RI as a national model. As of this morning 26,000 people have signed up for HealthSource RI. According to officials at HealthSource RI, Rhode Island is currently one of the top states in terms of healthcare sign ups.