Cranston's Rep. Arthur Handy said the Supreme Court of the United States' decision to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act is a "step forward for Rhode Islanders' health care."
Rhode Islanders will be "well-positioned" to benefit from the act, portions of which haven't yet gone into effect.
"“This act will protect citizens from being denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions and will prohibit insurers from continuing other unfair practices, like charging women more than men for coverage. The law covers preventive care, which is just as important as the care dispensed in response to new health problems," Handy said. "Additionally, children will be able to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until they are 26 years old. All of these provisions included in today’s decision truly mark the beginning of a new and improved era in health care."
Representative Handy pointed to the legislation (2012-H7909A, 2012-S2887A) recently passed by the General Assembly to establish health insurance standards consistent with the federal act as a major step forward in ensuring that Rhode Island’s health care system is prepared for the transition.
He also praised the work that has already been done by Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, Gov. Lincoln Chafee and the Assembly to establish a health benefits exchange to provide consumers a marketplace to shop for competitive rates for insurance products, and the recent hiring of former Department of Human Services Director Christine C. Ferguson, a veteran of health care reform and policy as its director, as significant progress that Rhode Island has made in ensuring the success of the new system.
“Rhode Island has been diligently preparing for the implementation of the federal health care law, and the Supreme Court’s decision today confirms that affordable health care is imperative for our nation," Handy said. "Our residents can be sure that the state has been putting together the proper framework for this since Congress passed the law. We will be fully prepared to implement it so all Rhode Islanders will have access to the health care they need."