PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would blow a hole in Rhode Island's budget and leave many state residents uninsured, said Gov. Gina Raimondo.
"If Trumpcare passes, everything is at risk. It would create an unspeakable hole in the budget," Raimondo told reporters Thursday.
Republican leaders in Washington Thursday pushed off a vote on repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which passed under President Obama late in 2009.
Trump's bill would cost Rhode Island taxpayers at least $200 million annually and strip at least 70,000 residents of health coverage, according to Raimondo. The state, she said, also stands to lose $8 million a year in federal funding and cost as many as 8,000 Rhode Islanders their jobs.
Joining Democrat Raimondo at the state administration building on Smith Hill were several medical leaders and three Providence residents who say they benefited from the expanded coverage -- one of whom said it saved his life.
"In Rhode Island, the Affordable Care Act is working. That is not the case in every state," said Raimondo, citing 96% statewide coverage. "People have health insurance. The health exchange is working. The commissioner [Kathleen Hittner] has done a great job on costs. The General Assembly has done its role."
Trumpcare, she said, would endanger other budgetary proposals before the state legislature, including her own initiative to provide two years' free tuition at state colleges for residents, and a bill by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, D-Cranston, to abolish the automobile tax.
She said the proposed changes could endanger treatment for 2,500 people with opioid addiction.
"The overdose crisis is the biggest health problem in the state. That is true in many states," she said. "I've talked to the governor of Ohio [Republican John Kasich], major problem there. We have to lobby Republican governors and say: 'This is wrong.' Speak up, this is way past politics.'"