Senate Resolution #109 (2021)

SENATE RESOLUTION RESPECTFULLY URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO PASS LEGISLATION ESTABLISHING AN IMPROVED "MEDICARE FOR ALL" OR "MEDICARE FOR ALL WHO WANT IT" PROGRAM THAT WOULD PROVIDE UNIVERSAL, COMPREHENSIVE AND AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE

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Changes since original draft

  • 2021 – S 0109
  • 2021 – S 0109 AS AMENDED
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  • LC000485
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  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2021
  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2021
  • ____________
  • S E N A T E R E S O L U T I O N
  • RESPECTFULLY URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO PASS LEGISLATION
  • ESTABLISHING AN IMPROVED "MEDICARE FOR ALL" SINGLE PAYER PROGRAM
  • THAT WOULD PROVIDE UNIVERSAL, COMPREHENSIVE AND AFFORDABLE
  • HEALTH CARE
  • Introduced By: Senators Calkin, Mendes, Anderson, Mack, Bell, and Quezada
  • Date Introduced: January 26, 2021
  • Referred To: Senate Health & Human Services
  • WHEREAS, Health care is a human right, not a commodity available only to those who can afford it; and
  • WHEREAS, Although the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowed states to offer more people taxpayer subsidized private health insurance, the ACA has not provided universal, comprehensive, affordable coverage for all Rhode Islanders; and
  • WHEREAS, In 2019, about 4.3 percent of Rhode Islanders (43,000), had no health insurance, causing about 43 (1 per 1,000 uninsured) unnecessary deaths each year; and
  • WHEREAS, An estimated 45 percent of Rhode Islanders (450,000) are under-insured (e.g., not seeking health care because of high deductibles and co-pays); and
  • WHEREAS, COVID-19 exacerbated and highlighted problems with the status quo health insurance system including:
  • (1) Coverage is too easily lost when health insurance is tied to jobs - between February and May, 2020, about 21,000 more Rhode Islanders lost their jobs and their health insurance;
  • (2) Systemic racism is reinforced - Black and Hispanic/Latinx Rhode Islanders, more likely to be uninsured or underinsured, have suffered the highest rates of COVID-19 mortality and morbidity; and
  • (3) The fear of out-of-pocket costs for the uninsured and underinsured puts everyone at risk because they avoid testing and treatment; and
  • WHEREAS, The existing US health insurance system has failed to control the cost of health care and to provide universal access to health care in a system which is widely accepted to waste 30 percent of its revenues on activities that do not improve the health of Americans; and
  • WHEREAS, Every industrialized nation in the world, except the United States, offers universal health care to its citizens and enjoys better health outcomes for less than two-thirds to one-half the cost; and
  • WHEREAS, Health care is rationed under our current multi-payer system, despite the fact that Rhode Island patients, businesses and taxpayers already pay enough money to have comprehensive and universal health insurance under a single-payer system; and
  • WHEREAS, About one-third of every "health care" dollar spent in the U.S. is wasted on unnecessary administrative costs and excessive pharmaceutical company profits due to laws preventing Medicare from negotiating prices and private health insurance companies lacking adequate market share to effectively negotiate prices; and
  • WHEREAS, Private health insurance companies are incentivized to let the cost of health care rise because higher costs require health insurance companies to charge higher health insurance premiums, increasing companies' revenues and stock prices; and
  • WHEREAS, The health care marketplace is not an efficient market and because it represents only 18 percent of the US domestic market, significantly restricts economic growth and thus the financial well-being of every American, including every Rhode Islander; and
  • WHEREAS, Rhode Islanders cannot afford to keep the current multi-payer health insurance system:
  • (1) Between 1991 and 2014, health care spending in Rhode Island per person rose by over two hundred fifty percent rising much faster than income and greatly reducing disposable income;
  • (2) It is estimated that by 2025, the cost of health insurance for an average family of four will equal about one-half of their annual income;
  • (3) In the U.S., about two-thirds of personal bankruptcies are medical cost-related and of these, about three-fourths had health insurance at the onset of their medical problems - in no other industrialized country do people worry about going bankrupt over medical costs; and
  • WHEREAS, Rhode Island private businesses bear most of the costs of employee health insurance coverage and spend significant time and money choosing from a confusing array of increasingly expensive plans which do not provide comprehensive coverage; and
  • S E N A T E R E S O L U T I O N
  • RESPECTFULLY URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO PASS LEGISLATION
  • ESTABLISHING AN IMPROVED "MEDICARE FOR ALL" OR "MEDICARE FOR ALL
  • WHO WANT IT" PROGRAM THAT WOULD PROVIDE UNIVERSAL, COMPREHENSIVE
  • AND AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE
  • Introduced By: Senators Calkin, Mendes, Anderson, Mack, Bell, and Quezada
  • Date Introduced: January 26, 2021
  • Referred To: Senate Health & Human Services
  • WHEREAS, Health care is a human right, not a commodity available only to those who can afford it; and
  • WHEREAS, Although the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowed states to offer more people taxpayer subsidized private health insurance and increased Medicaid access, the ACA has not provided universal, comprehensive, affordable coverage for all Rhode Islanders; and
  • WHEREAS, In 2020, according to HealthSource Rhode Island, about four percent (4%) of Rhode Islanders (40,000), had no health insurance; and
  • WHEREAS, HealthSource Rhode Island reported that approximately twenty-five percent (25%) of Rhode Islanders (250,000) were underinsured in 2020 (i.e. high deductibles and out-of- pocket maximums); and
  • WHEREAS, COVID-19 exacerbated and highlighted problems with the status quo health insurance system including:
  • (1) Coverage is too easily lost when health insurance is tied to jobs - during the COVID- 19 pandemic many Rhode Islanders lost their jobs and therefore may have lost or experienced disruption in their health insurance;
  • (2) Systemic racism is reinforced - Black and Hispanic/Latinx Rhode Islanders, more likely to be uninsured or underinsured, have suffered the highest rates of COVID-19 mortality and morbidity; and
  • (3) The fear of out-of-pocket costs for the uninsured and underinsured puts everyone at risk because they avoid testing and treatment; and
  • WHEREAS, The existing US health insurance system has failed to adequately control the cost of health care and to provide universal access to health care in a system which is widely accepted to waste thirty percent (30%) of its revenues on activities that do not improve the health of Americans; and
  • WHEREAS, Every industrialized nation in the world, except the United States, offers universal health care to its citizens and enjoys better health outcomes; and
  • WHEREAS, Health care is not universally accessible under our current system, despite the fact that Rhode Island patients, businesses and taxpayers already pay enough money to have comprehensive and universal health insurance coverage; and
  • WHEREAS, An improved health care system that includes a "Medicare for All" or "Medicare for All Who Want It" plan would increase consumer choice, ensure competition between public and private payers, and improve access to care - providing a pathway to universal coverage; and
  • WHEREAS, About one-third (1/3) of every "health care" dollar spent in the U.S. is wasted on unnecessary administrative costs and excessive pharmaceutical company profits due to laws preventing Medicare from negotiating prices; and
  • WHEREAS, The health care marketplace does not respond to traditional supply and demand forces for many reasons, including that the suppliers of services (health care providers) also control demand by recommending whether or not patients get particular care; and
  • WHEREAS, The resources Rhode Islanders currently spend on health insurance, pharmaceuticals and health care could be used much more efficiently; and
  • WHEREAS, Rhode Island private businesses bear most of the costs of employee health insurance coverage and spend significant time and money choosing from a confusing array of increasingly expensive plans; and
  • WHEREAS, Rhode Island employees and retirees lose significant wages and pensions as they are forced to pay higher amounts of health insurance and health care costs; and
  • WHEREAS, Rhode Island's hospitals are under increasing financial distress – i.e., closing, sold to out-of-state entities, attempting mergers – largely due to health insurance reimbursement problems that other nations do not face and are fixed by a single-payer system; and
  • WHEREAS, The state and its municipalities face enormous other post-employment benefits (OPEB) unfunded liabilities due mostly to health insurance costs and could be largely eliminated by a Medicare for All single-payer program; and
  • WHEREAS, Rhode Island's hospitals are under increasing financial distress – i.e., closing, sold to out-of-state entities, attempting mergers – in part due to health insurance reimbursement problems that other nations do not face and could be fixed by a "Medicare for All" or "Medicare for All Who Want It" plan that provides more equitable reimbursement rates; and
  • WHEREAS, The state and its municipalities face enormous other post-employment benefits (OPEB) unfunded liabilities due mostly to health insurance costs and could be largely eliminated by a "Medicare for All" or "Medicare for All Who Want It" plan; and
  • WHEREAS, The high costs of medical care could be lowered significantly if the country could negotiate on behalf of all its residents for bulk purchasing, as well as gain access to usage and price information currently kept confidential by private health insurers as "proprietary information"; and
  • WHEREAS, Single-payer health care would establish a true "free market" system where doctors compete for patients rather than health insurance companies dictating which patients are able to see which doctors and setting reimbursement rates; and
  • WHEREAS, Single-payer would provide comprehensive coverage that would include vision, hearing and dental care, mental health and substance abuse services, as well as prescription medications, medical equipment, supplies, diagnostics and treatments; and
  • WHEREAS, A "Medicare for All" or "Medicare for All Who Want It" would provide comprehensive coverage that would include vision, hearing and dental care, mental health and substance abuse services, as well as prescription medications, medical equipment, supplies, diagnostics and treatments; and
  • WHEREAS, Health care providers would spend significantly less time with administrative work caused by multiple health insurance company requirements and barriers to care delivery and would spend significantly less for overhead costs because of streamlined billing; and
  • WHEREAS, There is extensive research that shows an improved Medicare for All single- payer program will benefit all by providing universal comprehensive affordable health care coverage and establishing a funding system that is public, progressive, sustainable and contains health care costs; and
  • WHEREAS, A Medicare for All single-payer program would, based on the performance of existing Medicare, eliminate 50 percent of the administrative waste in the current system of private insurance before other savings achieved through meaningful negotiation of prices and other savings are considered; now, therefore be it
  • RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island hereby recognizes the need for the United States government to implement an improved Medicare for All single-payer program and hereby respectfully urges Congress to pass such legislation as previously introduced in Congress (e.g., Senate Bill 1129 and House Bill 1384); and be it further
  • RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, the Clerk of the United States Senate, and to members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation. ======== LC000485 ========
  • WHEREAS, There is extensive research that shows an improved "Medicare for All" or "Medicare for All Who Want It" plan will benefit all by providing universal comprehensive affordable health care coverage and establishing a funding system that is public, progressive, sustainable and contains health care costs; and
  • WHEREAS, A "Medicare for All" or "Medicare for All Who Want It" plan would eliminate much of the administrative waste in the current system; now, therefore be it
  • RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island hereby recognizes the need for the United States government to implement an improved "Medicare for All" or "Medicare for All Who Want It" plan and hereby respectfully urges Congress to pass such legislation that would provide a pathway to universal coverage; and be it further
  • RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, the Clerk of the United States Senate, and to members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation.
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  • LC000485
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Votes

NOTE: Electronic voting records are unofficial and may not be accurate. For an official vote tally, check the House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.

Floor vote for Passage

June 11, 2019 at 8:12pm
Yeas: 37 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 1 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Bell Y
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Conley Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Crowley Y
Sen. Cruz Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Goldin Y
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Lynch Prata Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. McKenney Y
Sen. Metts Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan Y
Sen. Murray Y
Sen. Nesselbush Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard NV
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Rogers Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Satchell Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sheehan Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde Y

Floor vote for "MEDICARE FOR ALL" PROGRAM

March 16, 2021 at 5:11pm
Yeas: 37 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 1 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Acosta Y
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Anderson Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Bell Y
Sen. Burke Y
Sen. Calkin Y
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Cruz Y
Sen. DiMario Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Goldin NV
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Kallman Y
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Mack Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Mendes Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan Y
Sen. Murray Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Rogers Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde Y

Floor vote for "MEDICARE FOR ALL" PROGRAM

March 16, 2021 at 5:11pm
Yeas: 37 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 1 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Acosta Y
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Anderson Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Bell Y
Sen. Burke Y
Sen. Calkin Y
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Cruz Y
Sen. DiMario Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Goldin NV
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Kallman Y
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Mack Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Mendes Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan Y
Sen. Murray Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Rogers Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde Y

Floor vote for "MEDICARE FOR ALL" PROGRAM

March 16, 2021 at 5:17pm
Yeas: 30 / Nays: 7 / Not voting: 1 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Acosta N
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Anderson N
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Bell N
Sen. Burke Y
Sen. Calkin N
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Cruz Y
Sen. DiMario Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Goldin NV
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Kallman N
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Mack N
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Mendes N
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan Y
Sen. Murray Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Rogers Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde Y

Floor vote for "MEDICARE FOR ALL" PROGRAM

March 16, 2021 at 5:17pm
Yeas: 30 / Nays: 7 / Not voting: 1 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Acosta N
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Anderson N
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Bell N
Sen. Burke Y
Sen. Calkin N
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Cruz Y
Sen. DiMario Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Goldin NV
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Kallman N
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Mack N
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Mendes N
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan Y
Sen. Murray Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Rogers Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde Y

Floor vote for "MEDICARE FOR ALL" PROGRAM

March 16, 2021 at 5:20pm
Yeas: 32 / Nays: 5 / Not voting: 1 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Acosta Y
Sen. Algiere N
Sen. Anderson Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Bell Y
Sen. Burke Y
Sen. Calkin Y
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Cruz N
Sen. DiMario Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Goldin NV
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Kallman Y
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Mack Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Mendes Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan N
Sen. Murray Y
Sen. Paolino N
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Rogers N
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde Y

Floor vote for "MEDICARE FOR ALL" PROGRAM

March 16, 2021 at 5:20pm
Yeas: 32 / Nays: 5 / Not voting: 1 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Acosta Y
Sen. Algiere N
Sen. Anderson Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Bell Y
Sen. Burke Y
Sen. Calkin Y
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Cruz N
Sen. DiMario Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Goldin NV
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Kallman Y
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Mack Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Mendes Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan N
Sen. Murray Y
Sen. Paolino N
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Rogers N
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde Y