When someone receives a diagnosis, the last thing they should have to worry about is how they're going to receive and pay for care.
This is why I believe quality, affordable health care should be available for all Rhode Islanders -- and that it should be a fundamental right, not a privilege, in our country.
Key components of health care reform should include increased focus on prevention and responsible cost containment, which can go hand in hand. I will continue to find ways to implement preventive measures and cost containment in our state health care system.
In addition, as lieutenant governor I will:
* Continue to support a strong Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner to keep insurance rates in line with what Rhode Islanders can afford.
* Help implement national reform at a state level, negotiating what any changes mean in light of Rhode Island's Global Medicaid Waiver.
* Bring health-care stakeholders together to find ways to cut costs and work with all state businesses and families for a sustainable, affordable health care system for Rhode Islanders.
* Create a stronger system of home and community care for seniors and disabled citizens. Medicaid costs are often lower as a result of services provided in a home or community setting, and it helps Rhode Islanders maintain their independence.
* Expand oral health services -- one of the top preventable reasons patients end up in emergency rooms -- to the elderly, children and working poor families.