Health care in RI's budget

Providence, RI – By MEGAN HALL
On Wednesday, the Rhode Island Senate is set to vote on the state's budget for fiscal year 2012.

WRNI's health care reporter Megan Hall reports on some of the items related to medical care in Rhode Island.

The current version of the budget pushes aside several cuts proposed by Governor Lincoln Chafee. House lawmakers saved a program that helps elderly residents buy their prescriptions and preserved the health services council- a group responsible for approving expensive projects or purchases by local hospitals.

But the House did agree with Chafee's decision to apply the sales tax to over the counter drugs and medical marijuana. The current budget is also counting on six hundred thousand dollars in revenue by collecting a surcharge from Rhode Island's unopened medical marijuana dispensaries.

Low-income families in Rhode Island's RIte Share health insurance program would pay their own co-pays and contribute a higher percentage of their income to stay on the health plan under this version of the budget.

The full Senate is expected to vote on the fiscal plan Wednesday afternoon or early evening.

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