opinion Newport Rhode Island

Before the Affordable Care Act, it was estimated that 45,000 Americans died each year from lacking or having no health care (study conducted by the American Journal of Public Health).

With the current Republican proposed health care legislation, the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimates that 22 million Americans will lose their health care insurance. As a state, we need to start to explore the creation of a single-payer health care system.

Currently, every major industrialized nation on Earth has a single payer system (France, Luxembourg, UK, New Zealand Austria). While there is no question that healthcare should be a right and not a privilege for those who can afford it, such a plan also makes sense economically.

Gerald Friedman, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, estimates that a single-payer health care system would save the United States $600 billion in its first year alone. The savings would be generated from the elimination of bloated administrative fees associated with our current private health care system.

Economist Robert Fountain, a frequent economics consultant for the California Public Employees Retirement System conducted a study that found that establishing a national single payer healthcare reform system would provide a major stimulus for the U.S. economy by creating 2.6 million new jobs while infusing $317 billion in new business and public revenues, with another $100 billion in wages into the U.S. economy. Here in Rhode Island, establishing a single payer system could be a major economic driver. Our state is facing a $135 million deficit. The car tax alone will cost Newport an estimated $2 million shortfall. A single payer health care system will generate valuable funds that can be directed at our schools, our infrastructure, and our innovation projects, such as The Sheffield School.

Here in Rhode Island, establishing a single payer system could be a major economic driver. Our state is facing a $135 million deficit. The car tax alone will cost Newport an estimated $2 million shortfall. A single payer health care system will generate valuable funds that can be directed at our schools, our infrastructure, and our innovation projects, such as The Sheffield School.

John Florez, Newport City Councilor and Democratic Candidate for Senate District 13.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.