In hindsight, it is clear that the parties to the sale of St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island should have seen that splitting the pension plan off from the newly formed Prospect CharterCARE LLC would lead to the failure of the pension system of current and former workers, since there would be no ongoing contributions to the fund. Why they didn’t see this eventuality is difficult to fathom.
What a law signed by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo on June 26 facilitates is a quick settlement of the legal action that the court-appointed receiver has brought against Prospect Medical Holdings, Prospect CharterCARE, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence and others for that oversight.
And a quick settlement is what is called for, since many of the retirees from the health system are facing retirement payouts that will be anywhere from 40 percent less than what they were owed to absolutely nothing.
If there is anything to be learned from this mess, it is that regulators should pay more attention when viewing this sort of corporate merger, to make sure that those most vulnerable are not taken advantage of.