Government must pay its bills

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Regarding the editorial entitled, “Overpaid and underpaid: The mess deepens” (March 25), you couldn’t be more correct.

The editorial stated: “here’s an opportunity for all the pols in Augusta to act on that desire: When the Department of Health and Human Services is more than 30 days late in paying its providers – the state’s hospitals, doctors and other medical providers – it should pay interest on the money owed The DHHS sent up another warning flare Wednesday (3/22). Unless it gets an injection of money from the state, it will gradually slow down on payments to providers.”

Republican lawmakers have constantly been advocating that government pay its bills and operate like a business. Unlike certain Democratic legislators, we people of Maine value our hospitals and medical providers. We understand that if we require them to perform services for the poor, they must be paid.

As a lawmaker, I grow weary of watching rank-and-file Democratic legislators from Lewiston consistently vote to shortchange medical providers and compromise Maine’s “safety net,” otherwise known as MaineCare.

“Computer glitches,” arrogant DHHS bureaucrats, wild overpayments to a small number of providers and the shortchanging of most long-term medical providers and hospitals are major problems that plague our health-care system. Several leading doctors, podiatrists, pediatricians and dentists have closed their doors to new MaineCare patients because Maine does not pay its bills.

Bravo to the Sun Journal’s brave editorial board who have dared to point out this problem.

Michael Vaughan, Durham

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