Ottiano appointed to healthcare oversight committee

Portsmouth's freshman state senator, Dr. Chris Ottiano (R-11), has been appointed to the reconstituted Joint Healthcare Oversight Committee which will help Rhode Island prepare for the implementation of the federal health care overhaul and oversee the state’s health care activities, according to a state house release.

Sen Rhoda Perry and Rep. Brian Kennedy will co-chair the committee, which originally functioned from 2000-2005. The committee monitors, studies, reports and makes recommendations on all areas of health care provision, insurance, liability, licensing, cost and delivery of services, and the adequacy, efficacy and efficiency of statutes, rules, regulations, guidelines, practices, and programs related to health care, long-term care or health insurance coverage.

House Speaker Gordon D. Fox and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed have indicated that the new federal health insurance changes are the major reason that this committee is needed. The federal reform provisions are complex, and the leaders stated that the important implementation decisions must be made in a transparent, responsive, and thoughtful manner. The joint committee will work closely with the Chafee administration on this and other important health care issues in the state.

Editorial note: Written substantially from a press release.