EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — President Donald Trump is calling for sweeping changes to policies that were set under his predecessor, Barack Obama. Among those changes could include repealing Obamacare.
Local lawmakers are expressing concern over what that could mean for Rhode Island.
Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed said Trump is successful in a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, it could have huge budgetary implications.
“I am concerned,” Paiva Weed said during this week’s taping of WPRI 12’s Newsmakers.
Roughly 100,000 Rhode Islanders receive health insurance through Obamacare, which Trump has repeatedly pledged to repeal and replace.
Paiva Weed said it’s too soon to say what kind of impact Trump’s policies will have at the local level.
Rhode Island relies on billions of dollars every year from the Federal Government, much of it is for social service benefits.
“We don’t turn people away at hospital doors,” Weed added. “So what the Affordable Care Act did was actually provide funding for insurance to ensure those people are cared for.”
Paiva Weed’s biggest concern lies in Trump’s choice for Education Secretary Betsy Devos.
“I was horrified at some of the stuff she was saying, that to return the decisions about children with disabilities to the states,” said Paiva Weed.
Paiva Weed also said she is hoping now that Trump is in power, the country can move away from the divisiveness that she says came about during the elections.