Rhode Island Attorney General Update

Peter Kilmartin (D) is kicking off his bid for the Democratic Nomination for Attorney General tonight from 430pm to 630pm at the Portuguese Social Club in Pawtucket.

Yesterday, in a submission of public comment to Health Insurance Commissioner Koller regarding the recent health insurance premium rate hike proposal by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), Kilmartin urged the Commissioner to fight for Rhode Islanders and against rate hikes.

“Nearly thirteen percent of Rhode Islanders are out of work and even higher percentages are having a difficult time affording health insurance,” said Peter F. Kilmartin. “Conversely, BCBRSI – which has non-profit status yet ended its fiscal year of 2008 with profits of $44 million and a surplus of $412 million – is seeking to further increase the cost of health insurance premiums in order to bolster its profit and surplus margins.”

Peter F. Kilmartin recommended Commissioner Koller ask BCBRSI the following questions:

1.       BCBRSI declared 2008 fiscal year profits of $44 million – how can they justify their non-profit tax status?
2.       With a surplus of upwards of $412 million, and a 13 percent unemployment rate in, how can BCBRSI justify a requested rate hike increase in health insurance premiums?

Peter F. Kilmartin asserted: “If Rhode Islanders elect me as their next Attorney General, I will continue to fight for their interests by establishing the health consumer advocate office as more than a regulatory evaluation and reactionary position. On my watch, the office will proactively engage health insurers, providers, and small businesses in order to sufficiently address the real issues that lead to rising health care costs and further protect Rhode Islanders from unfair rate hikes.”

Meanwhile, Steve Archambault (D), recently announced that Samantha Cotter has been hired to serve as his campaign manager. Cotter will be responsible for coordinating all day-to-day campaign activities.  Cotter served as a New Hampshire field organizer for President Obama in the 2008 general election–a winning state for Obama.  She also worked as a field organizer for Ned Lamont’ s campaign for US Senate in Connecticut. Cotter is a graduate of Hofstra University and a resident of Cranston.

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