Charlie has led the effort to transform Rhode Island's health care system and to make quality health care accessible and affordable for all Rhode Islanders. He is a forceful advocate for the rights of patients and for improving patient safety.
* Charlie has proposed a four point plan to reverse the trend of a growing number of uninsured Rhode Islanders under Republican governors.
o Help small businesses, and middle and low income families afford health insurance with a reinsurance pool modeled after the "Health New York" plan.
o Require large, profitable corporations to pay their fair share of their employees' health care or contribute to a fund to a state-wide health care fund.
o Extend coverage to dependants up to 25 years old whether or not they are in school.
o Cover every child in our state.
* Charlie has worked to improve health care quality for all Rhode Islanders.
o In 1998 he sponsored the nationally recognized "Fogarty Law," requiring health care quality reports for hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities.
* Charlie has worked to make prescription drugs more affordable for hundreds of seniors and disabled Rhode Islanders.
o His legislation expanded the state's Pharmaceutical Assistance Program for the Elderly (RIPAE) to include more commonly used drugs such as those to treat Alzheimer's disease, depression and arthritis;
o He fought for discounts for drugs not covered by RIPAE and to give financial assistance to middle income seniors and disabled Rhode Islanders.
* Charlie was one of the first state elected officials to speak out against the serious problems with Medicare Part D.
o At the state level, Charlie is working to bring greater coordination between Medicare Part D and RIPAE to fill in the gaps in Part D.
o He is working with the state's Congressional delegation to address Medicare Part D's serious shortfalls including its prohibition on government negotiating with drug companies for better pricing.
* As Chairman of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council, Charlie is leading the effort to build a system that promotes quality and gives our elders and their families support and choices.
o Charlie's historic 2005 long term care reform legislation requires increased state oversight of nursing homes clinical care and financial stability, early notice to families when proper care is not being provided and nursing home quality improvement programs.
* Following the historic 1998 settlement with the tobacco industry Charlie fought to use a portion of the state settlement money for tobacco control programs and to curb tobacco use especially among our youth.