Maine House passes insurance bill


AUGUSTA — The Maine House of Representatives on Tuesday gave its final approval to a Republican bill that would  make sweeping changes to health insurance in Maine. The bill now moves to the Senate. 

The 79-68 vote broke largely along party lines, with Rep. Stephen Hanley of Gardiner the only Democrat to vote in favor of it. 

The bill, LD 1333, has proven to be extremely controversial, both for its content and its speed. Democrats have complained the original bill and its 45 pages of amendments were ramrodded through and no one has had time to fully understand what this proposal could mean for Mainers. Republicans have defended the swift work on the bill, saying it contains proposals that have been batted around for years and there has been plenty of time since its introduction two weeks ago.

The bill makes myriad changes to the state’s insurances rules and regulations, including allowing out-of-state insurance companies to sell health insurance to Mainers.