‘Health care is a human right’: Morales proposes bill to create ‘Medicare for all’ health care plan

This is a file image of the Rhode Island State House. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (WLNE) — Rep. David Morales is proposing legislation to create a “Medicare for All” healthcare system in Rhode Island.

“Health care is a human right,” said Democratic Rep. Morales of Providence. “I want to be clear: access to medical, dental, and vision care should not be exclusive, expensive, or reserved for the lucky.”

Bill 2023-H 6339 would replace multiple “broker” insurers with a single coverage clause: the Rhode Island Comprehensive Health Insurance Program, Morales said.

Democrats say the program will be funded by consolidating government and private payments to multiple insurers into a more economical and efficient single payer program.

He also said he would replace high health insurance premiums, copays and deductibles with a progressive tax on large corporations and federal reimbursements.

According to representatives, the cost of the program will be largely covered by 10% payroll tax, with employers paying 8% and employees 2%.

“There will be no copayments or deductions, prescription drugs will be free,” Morales said.

So far, Morales said the bill is backed by doctors in Rhode Island’s National Health Program.

Proponents, he said, are drawing from other countries, such as Canada, that have universal single-payer schemes that offer better health outcomes at lower costs than the U.S. scheme.

“Canada’s Single Payer Program began in 1962 in Saskatchewan, which is roughly the size of Rhode Island,” said J. Mark Ryan, president of the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Health Program Physicians Association. “It was so successful that it became a national program within a decade and continues to be successful today, with better outcomes and lower costs than in the United States.”

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