- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 24, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Supporters of universal health care are renewing their push for publicly-subsidized health insurance for all Rhode Island residents.

State Rep. Aaron Regunberg, a Providence Democrat running for lieutenant governor, is a sponsor of this year’s legislation. He said at a Wednesday news conference that health care is a “fundamental human right.”

The proposal calls for a 10 percent payroll tax to cover the costs of the single-payer system, which would operate similar to how Medicare, the federal health insurance program for those 65 years or older, works.

Regunberg says the plan would lead to $4,000 in annual savings for residents once it’s fully operational.

Democratic state Sen. Jeanine Calkin, of Warwick, is introducing the Senate version of the bill. Among the bill’s supporters is Physicians for a National Health Program.

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