R. Fochtmann: Taxpayers will be the ones to pay

If Rep. Richard Malaby insists I am ill-informed (June 22), then I must assert that he is disingenuous.

While he is correct that the MaineCare budget increased by $88 million, he ignores that the increase was needed to address Maine’s huge debt to hospitals, and to compensate for the ending of federal stimulus money — a shortfall that will not increase matching funding.

There is no new funding for Maine’s neediest. Indeed, the Legislature eliminated thousands of people from eligibility, and cut support for co-pays and drugs for the elderly.

He is also less than candid about Maine’s higher per-capita spending, caused by Maine’s compliance with the consent decree to provide services for those with mental illness.

The point I was making (June 16) was that we ought to use our resources and spend them wisely to encourage and support preventative and primary care, focusing on helping people be successful in the work place, within their families, etc., rather than installing a set of perverse incentives that generates more sick care and inappropriate hospital emergency room use.

The Legislature, in listening to DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew, a former hospital lobbyist, may have satisfied her former constituency, but by forcing those with the least out of primary care into waiting until they are very sick, they have done nothing to help Maine’s neediest live healthier lives.

I stand by my contention that, in the end, we taxpayers will be the ones to pay the higher hospital costs versus the moderate costs of managed care.

Richard Fochtmann, Leeds

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MARK GRAVEL's picture

That is the problem with

That is the problem with publicly funded healthcare. There is not infinite public funds, so the only alternative to containing costs is to limit access – welcome to the world of Obamacare.

Betty Davies's picture

Limited access is what we have with for-profit insurance

In this era of the for-profit insurers, millions of Americans lack health insurance, and are going without preventive care, and finally arriving at the doors of your local ER with illnesses that are advanced and expensive to treat.

The corporate CEOs have astonishing salaries, some of them raking in more in ONE DAY than the average American earns in a year.

Their hyper-inflated salaries are skimmed off our health insurance premiums. Money that should be going for our healthare is being spent on CEO salaries. Profit is the only motive of a corporation.

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNPH) explain: "private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume one-third (31 percent) of every health care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would save more than $400 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans." http://www.pnhp.org/

The ACA, though not as comprhensive as single-payer would be, is vastly expanding health insurance coverage for millions of Americans. A healthier America will be a stronger America.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Nothing has structurally

Nothing has structurally changed as it relates to the insurance industry under ObamaCare. In fact, the individual mandate forces more dollars to flow into the pockets of the insurance industry. To that fact, healthcare stocks spiked shortly after the Supreme Court ruling was released.

The stock market is forward looking, so that it telling; investors see more profits in healthcare.
We are living history, so we’ll see how all this turns out. Just keep your mind open to being wrong.


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