Not a state for older people

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On May 6, the Maine House of Representatives voted along party lines, 76-72, to enact LD 1333, a bill revamping the health insurance laws in Maine.

The bill, by many accounts (with the ink still wet and text barely read), was rushed into a floor vote without the impact of the bill adequately verified by independent parties or the usual and customary open forum for public input that Maine citizens expect.

LD 1333 raises the amount older, non-elderly Mainers may be charged from the current one and a half times to five times the lowest rate. The bill, as has been referenced by its sponsors and many reports, is modeled after Idaho’s health insurance laws. The median age in Idaho, per the 2010 Census, is 34.2 years; in Maine, the median age is 42.7. Maine has a much different population.

One might conclude that the wish for lower health care costs (to be realized by LD 1333) will occur only as the older citizens get the message that they are not wanted here and move to a state more supportive of their age group.

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LD 1333 must be thoroughly exposed to dialogue and daylight. Common sense dictates it should get more scrutiny than the status of whoopie pie. After all, we are talking about life and death, not dessert.

Jim Stephenson, Raymond

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