This is in regard to the health insurance deregulation bill, LD 1333, that was passed in the Maine House of Representatives on May 5.
The bill eliminates the power of the superintendent of insurance to block rate increases; it allows the insurance industry to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions (changes the current guaranteed-issue law and creates a high-risk pool based on medical conditions); it permits insurers to charge three times as much for people past the age of 48; and many people who are now covered by their employers will be denied coverage because businesses will not be able to afford to cover them.
Rural Mainers will have to pay more than people in urban areas, since insurance companies will be allowed to vary their rates, according to people’s geographic locations. Rates will continually rise and people who need quality, affordable health care will hurt the most.
I cannot emphasize enough how bad the bill is for people and businesses.
Insurance companies are profiting from their individual policies while Mainers are failing to access affordable, quality health care. People should be able to get full treatment without worrying about the negative costs of depending on their health insurance.
Instead of pushing for legislation that only benefits the rich, Gov. Paul LePage and his Republican cohorts should start strategizing ways to build the state economy and ways to provide security to the people of Maine.
Mary Osborne, Lewiston