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Lt. Governor Roberts Opposes UnitedHealthCare Insurance Rate Hike Request

Providence, RI - Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Roberts Continues to Urge Insurers to Change the Way Health Care is Paid for and Delivered

Lt. Governor Elizabeth H. Roberts today expressed continued opposition to the double-digit rate hikes proposed by Rhode Island's major insurers, joined yesterday by UnitedHealthCare, in an effort to offset reported losses and increasing costs.

“I am unequivocally opposed to increases in premiums for our business community and families who simply cannot afford to bear this burden. It is irresponsible of the insurers to pass along increases to customers when they have shown clearly they have failed to effectively manage and contain costs. Insurers must solve this problem now by restructuring the way health care is paid for and delivered,” stated Lt. Governor Roberts, health care expert and Chair of the Long-term Care Coordinating Council.

The Lt. Governor has consistently urged insurers to take action, responding to each of their previous rate hike requests. She testified in opposition to similar proposals in September 2009 and January of this year, citing health insurance as among the fastest growing costs for Rhode Island businesses and families.

The Lt. Governor has responded to the spiraling costs of health care and the implementation of national health reform in Rhode Island by spearheading an initiative with all stakeholders. This intensified public effort is Making It Work: Health Reform in Rhode Island, convened with the Rhode Island Foundation. On May 27th, the third of six sessions will address the importance of primary care reform to improve quality and drive down the cost of health care in Rhode Island.

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