Frustrations mounting after release of scathing UHIP report
Hours after Governor Gina Raimondo’s admission that the state's new benefits system never should have been launched, lawmakers met at the state house for a briefing with the acting DHS director on the report.
That briefing was for the House Oversight Committee. The chair, Rep. Patricia Serpa told reporters that she feels the report places too much blame on Deloitte, the vender behind UHIP, and not quite enough on the Governor.
Rep. Serpa says the problems were evident months ago.
"While I respect that she is apologizing and acknowledging for the mistakes I want you all to remember that we had hearings in October, November and December and her staff people were in that room listening. Did they not report to her what they were hearing. I can't imagine that they didn't,” said Rep. Serpa.
The frustration spreads far beyond lawmakers, we spoke with DHS Director in Coventry, Pat Shurtleff, who says she’s had enough.
At the same time that the Governor was briefing reporters Shurtleff spent her day unsuccessfully trying to help a disabled mother of three whose SNAP benefits were incorrectly cut off.
"She was getting 86 dollars for food stamps. I think that's even incorrect. And all of the sudden she is not getting anything,’ said Shurtleff.
Over the past five months, 3 high-ranking officials have stepped down. Most recently... Health and Human Services Secretary Liz Roberts.
But, despite the shake-ups people like Shurtleff say they won’t be satisfied until the people suffering get the benefits they deserve.
"What a demoralizing situation and a demoralizing time,” said Shurtleff.