Matt Brown Blasts Governor Raimondo’s “Disastrous” UHIP Program

Saturday, August 04, 2018
GoLocalProv News Team

Matt Brown (L) and Gina Raimondo (R)
Just a day after news broke that Governor Gina Raimondo’s Administration’s UHIP costs have now ballooned to more than $647 million, her top Democratic rival is blasting her leadership and fiscal management.

The controversial technology system for the state’s safety net for the most in need has continued to see skyrocketing costs. The latest documents submitted by the Raimondo administration to federal officials show that the tech project is now another $150 million over the last submitted budget.

"Paying even $1 for a government program that hurts people is wrong. But when the costs rise to $647 million, after tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders went hungry and without healthcare -- it’s an outrage. Now, Rhode Islanders will have to pay for a failure they didn’t cause, in the form of $138 million in taxes," said Matt Brown.

"The UHIP disaster is the most expensive IT project in Rhode Island’s history. It’s also the most disastrous. We can’t forget how we got here: Governor Raimondo launched UHIP prematurely while cutting 40 staff, despite federal and state warnings that the system wasn’t ready. For people working minimum wage, the UHIP disaster meant the difference between accessing critical medical attention and going without it. It meant the difference between putting food on the table and going hungry," Brown added.

Raimondo has repeatedly refused to fire the vendor Delliotte despite massive overruns and Federal Judge Will Smith naming a special master in late 2017 to monitor the federal food stamp program (SNAP).

"When the head of the state’s food bank attributes rising rates of hunger to a government-led program, you know we’ve got serious problems. Governor Raimondo should take accountability for her actions, admit the failures of the system, and step aside so that new leadership, for the people, can build the Rhode Island we need," said Brown.

"As Governor, every single day, my number one priority will be looking out for Rhode Islanders. I won’t cut experienced staff in the midst of launching a massive new system. I won’t cut costs on the backs of those in need while giving out tax breaks to multinational corporations. And I won’t rush through a new program that provides essential social services without being sure it’s ready," Brown said.

This article was first published 8/3/18 12:37 PM.

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