After reading Jim Borah’s Op-Ed (“Care needed in establishing state’s benefit exchange,” April 16, 2012), I wanted to add my thoughts to this discussion.
The Rhode Island economy needs a lot of things, but another bloated government program is not one of them. We have a real opportunity to set a new precedent with the federal dollars we have received to set up Rhode Island’s Health Benefit Exchange. We can create a streamlined exchange, which will provide Rhode Island individuals and businesses with the ability to find out about subsidies they might qualify for and to compare available plans. Or, we can load the program up with mandates and requirements, creating overhead that will have to be paid by Rhode Island taxpayers.
General Assembly leaders deserve praise for exercising fiscal restraint in recent years. Running the state on limited resources is difficult work, and I am very concerned that without their oversight, we are losing an opportunity to create an exchange that is as lean as possible. If the exchange is structured without restraint or economy, it could become just another classic Rhode Island money pit.