Is expanding MaineCare a good idea?
On the face of it, it sounds like a good idea but it is not — for several reasons.
— Expanding MaineCare is bad because it adds thousands of Mainers to the existing health care system. That leads to longer waiting lists and higher prices. An example can be seen in the lack of dental care here in Maine. There is a shortage of dentists and, as a result, dental care costs are much higher than they need to be. In addition, it spills over onto medical care because of more emergency room use.
— It is not free. Expanding MaineCare has to be paid for. If Augusta increases taxes, it means less money for us and our families. If taxes on businesses are increased, they simply pass that tax on to customers.
In either case, that means less economic growth and fewer jobs created. Not to mention, not all dollars collected in taxes go toward the intended use. A portion of them pay for administrative costs for both the Maine Revenue Service and MaineCare. If Washington, D.C., funds the expansion, you get the same results with the same problems.
I am not saying that we should not help people get health care. Just that here is a better way of doing so.
The solution should include helping bring costs down so people can find their own health care and not depend on Augusta.
Tim McClure, Lisbon Falls