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LT. GOV. ELIZABETH ROBERTS FRONT AND CENTER IN NATIONAL UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE DISCUSSION

Roberts steps into the national debate on health care, leading a policy session during the winter meetings of the National Lieutenant Governors' Association

PROVIDENCE - Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts led her fellow lieutenant governors this afternoon in a discussion of the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Plan and its applicability to other states' universal health care initiatives. Roberts, taking part in the winter meetings of the National Lieutenant Governors' Association in Washington, DC, was the only freshman lieutenant governor chosen to lead a policy session.

"Today, lieutenant governors from over 30 states addressed the health care crisis we face and I was proud to lead this exciting meeting," Roberts said. "All Rhode Islanders deserve quality health care they can afford. The initiative in Massachusetts is a significant step towards this goal and we must use the lessons of its implementation to create our own opportunities."

Dr. James Mongan, President of Partners HealthCare and a key player in the development of the Massachusetts plan, framed his message to the group around two key questions: Will the plan succeed and will the plan be a model for other states?

Mongon said he was optimistic about the plan, which he called a compromised approach, but that the jury was still out.

He also said the plan was specific to Massachusetts and could not be a nationwide model. He added that the national importance was the "catalyst for debate" the initiative has become.

Roberts has spent over a decade distinguishing herself as one of Rhode Island's most respected advocates for quality, affordable healthcare for every family and has built a statewide reputation for being a tireless leader on health and medical issues. Roberts currently chairs the Long Term Care Coordinating Council and has been designated the chair of a joint legislative task force, the focus of which will be the recently enacted Massachusetts Universal Health Care Reform Plan.

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Related links

Department or agency: Elizabeth Roberts, Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Online: http://www.ltgov.state.ri.us/

Release date: 03-15-2007

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