In rebuttal, R. Reed: Half-truths don't become facts

This is in response to the guest columns by Heidi Brooks and Rich Livingston (Sept. 29).

It is clear the Democrats will use any trick in the book to make people believe that the expansion of Medicaid services is wonderful. Half-truths and twisted logic repeated often enough do not suddenly become facts. Twenty-five years working in the health care industry has taught me otherwise.

Let's be honest — no one dies because they don’t have health insurance. Not receiving health care can lead to a greater chance of illness, disease and premature death, but everyone makes their own decision on what health care they need.

We are not talking about Maine's poorest, as they are already covered. This change simply alters who pays the bill. Health care is a right, but insurance is not.

While the federal government will pay 100 percent of the health care costs associated with Medicaid during the first three years, they do not cover administrative costs, which are estimated at be an additional $10 million over three years. That is the same federal agency that promised almost 70 percent reimbursement just 10 years ago, now reduced to 62 percent.

And other states are allowed to get 100 percent reimbursement for new income groups that Maine has covered for years, getting 62 percent for the same services. Gov. Paul LePage requested that issue be addressed but was met with silence.

There is the claim that “If we don’t spend it, someone else will.” Not exactly, unless those who would have been covered by expansion suddenly move to those other states and, if not, no additional money is required of anyone.

The other misleading argument is that expansion will create jobs. Really?

How can people say it will create jobs by adding insured lives while also saying it will allow people who already have coverage to get a less expensive option? The number of people who do not have any insurance multiplied by the number of services they would require does not even come close to the jobs figures being quoted.

Lastly, Democrats claim the Medicaid expansion would save money. They claim there will be less charitable care, all while stating it is a cheaper health insurance option and/or people are not getting the care they need. Which is it? If people have coverage or they don’t get services, how much charity care is provided that would no longer be needed?

There are currently almost 3,000 disabled people in Maine without health insurance and the Democrats in Augusta refuse to even consider coverage for them, making them second-class citizens. Let's make them the first priority and move forward cautiously in a fiscally prudent manner.

Robert Reed, Lewiston

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FRANK EARLEY's picture

Mr. Reed, where do you really live????

You have definitely not been living in this world lately. Without access to medical care people die, fact, like it or not. Your experience in health care must be special if you think that no one dies just due to lack of insurance. Also, the money LePage has denied accepting to expand Medicaid, will go to other states. There isn't some little guy down in Washington separating out Maine's portion of Federal taxes. If we don't use it someone else will.
The poorest among us are not all covered already. I have a friend who hasn't been able to work since last November, as the result of someone else's tragically bad choices. What this poor woman has been through has prevented her from working, something she has done all her life. Now she needs temporary help and doesn't seem to be eligible for anything. She has no health insurance, but we have arranged for medical treatment she needs ourselves.
There are many people in this state who still need help. and it's misinformed individuals like you who are making it hard for people like my friend.

CRYSTAL WARD's picture

being honest would be good

Let's be honest — no one dies because they don’t have health insurance. Not receiving health care can lead to a greater chance of illness, disease and premature death, but everyone makes their own decision on what health care they need." Please do your research people do die because of lack of health care-see posting of Ron R. for one source.
Who will pay for the CHARITY care of people who can not afford health insurance but do get ill??? The money will be paid by someone--this is the question that Republican will not answer- who pays for the 70,000 Mainers? Currently some of the cost are passed on to the insurance companies who pass it onto us who pay for insurance.
Charity Care is NOT FREE care!!

 's picture


"the expansion of Medicaid services is wonderful" Yes, it is. How can anybody be against sick people getting treatment?

 's picture

Be honest, Ron.

Yesterday, Riml was spluttering that health insurance was the problem, that it should be discarded in favor of universal coverage. Today, insurance is the last hope of the working class. Having read his posts for quite a while now, it's no surprise to me that he contradicts himself regularly, in his eagerness to put down people who don't agree with his belief that socialism is the cure for everything.

RONALD RIML's picture

As the old saying goes, Mike...

You're entitled to your own opinions - but not your own facts.

I would much rather prefer 'Single Payer Health Care' to an 'Insurance Based System' in the U.S.

But are we realistically going to see that in the very near future? Not with the Republican and Tea Par-tiers - ain't gonna happen.

So incrementally, it's better that all participate in "Insurance' so as to broaden the base - i.e. - the 'Affordable Health Care Act' which was passed into law.

Those are the facts which we are dealing with. As opposed to the opinions with which you buoy yourself up with.

So what world do you, in fact, live in?

RONALD RIML's picture

Be Honest, Bob - Were those blood - or ink stains - from work??

Did you work as a 'Health Care Provider' - or for the Health Care Insurance Industry??

The 'Harvard Gazette' - which I trust exceedingly more than the keyboard of Robert Reed, reports the following: (and this was in 2009)

Uninsured, working-age Americans have 40 percent higher death risk than privately insured counterparts

"Nearly 45,000 annual deaths are associated with lack of health insurance, according to a new study published online today by the American Journal of Public Health. That figure is about two and a half times higher than an estimate from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2002.

The study, conducted at Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Health Alliance, found that uninsured, working-age Americans have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts, up from a 25 percent excess death rate found in 1993."

- The article continues... Click the above link provided.....

 's picture

Ronald, Bloomberg has an excellent story on how the Tea Party

sees the world. And When you live in an alternative universe as the Tea Party does facts become very flexible things. Its like the mirrors in a fun house. One makes it appear you are tall and wavy; another pear shaped, another well anything the owner wants you to be, but you remain the same.

 's picture

Be he said...

..."Let's be honest — no one dies because they don’t have health insurance."

I mean - if he said it - doesn't it HAVE to be true?


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