§ 27-68-1 Legislative findings.
The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:
(1) Although Rhode Island has one of the highest rates of health insurance coverage in the nation, gaps in coverage remain and the rate of coverage dropped significantly during the past year.
(2) From 2001 to 2002, the state's uninsured rate for working age adults went from eight percent (8%) to eleven percent (11%), one of eighteen (18) states in the country with a significant increase.
(3) Significant health insurance premium rate increases over the past two (2) years especially for small businesses and the self-insured are contributing to an increase in the rate of the uninsured.
(4) The largest segment of uninsured Rhode Island residents are adults with low incomes, many of whom are employed.
(5) Individuals without health coverage often resort to expensive emergency room care that ultimately drives up the overall cost of care for everyone and adds to the state's uncompensated care burden.
(6) Rhode Island residents use of emergency room services is greater than that of the nation.
(7) The institute of medicine defines primary care as the provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community.
(8) Access to primary health care should be available to every resident of the state regardless of income and whether or not they have access to health insurance.
(P.L. 2004, ch. 611, § 1.)