R. Reed: Time to think outside the box

The editorial on health care exchanges (Nov. 11) needs further review.

It is a health care insurance exchange and nothing in it would provide for more physicians, greater access to health care or any other panacea dreamed of by those wanting something for nothing.

What it would create is a place individuals and groups could go to review health insurance rates, offering a menu based on services covered, level of coverage and limitations. It would also show people their eligibility for programs such as CHIP and Medicaid, should they unknowingly meet eligibility.

It is easy to bash one party over the other, but who is right?

The Democrats opposed being able to buy across state lines, but were in favor of the exchange, while Republicans seemed to favor interstate buying but opposed to the exchange. However, due to Maine's small and rural nature, few carriers are interested in offering coverage here, thus any exchange would likely need to offer products now sold in nearby states in order to succeed.

I conclude that neither the federal or state government should take charge of the process but, instead, should form a cooperative exchange within New England instead of individually. A regional exchange would provide significant volume, limiting risk and exposure any one company could have from a few small, high-utilization accounts.

The end result would be lower rates and more choices for consumers — something large companies who have employees in multiple states already offer.

Maybe it is time to think outside the box.

Robert Reed, Lewiston

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Comments

FRANK EARLEY's picture

The health exchange is just a start....

We need the exchange. For to long, health insurance has been so out of reach for so many people that the over all results are becoming obvious. Many older people and even families have neglected medical care, especially preventative care. I've seen examples over and over again of families struggling with whether to seek early medical help.In many cases it comes down to if it ain't broke, we can get by for a while. As a result, by the time a patient finally does get medical attention, it will more than likely be much more difficult as well as expensive to treat. I've seen it in my own family, I've had to plead with my own daughter to seek obviously needed medical or dental treatment. Often times I've offered to cover the expense. Putting something off for to long it can kill you. That happens more than you think.
By following his idiotic political right wing agenda, The Governor is doing a huge disservice to the people of Maine. His refusal to do right by the residents of Maine, and following the several other Republican Governor's across the country, he is denying many, many people the opportunity for health insurance. He is also withholding millions of dollars in Federal reimbursement for this health insurance. We're talking ninety to one hundred percent Federal reimbursement. We will get the exchange. Unfortunately, it will be formed by people not as familiar with the present medical programs and the needs of the local people. I just hope in two years we can rescue this program and get what we deserve. At the same time we need to get rid of the biggest obstacle in Maine. Our useless governor, that alone might get us heading in the right direction......

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