I just read with interest Central Maine Medical Center’s Dr. David Stuchiner’s response to the high cost of health care in Maine (June 1). It’s hard for me to believe, as a business owner, the good doctor’s position in his column that the only way to see lower costs in Maine hospitals is to have government programs such as Medicare or Medicaid pay more of their fair share.

Well, I couldn’t disagree more with that position because the exact opposite happens when government subsidies are utilized – we see more spending by hospitals in expenses that are not adequately contained due to the lack of incentive to do so.

Perhaps it should be suggested that health care consumer advocates sit on the boards of Maine hospitals to assure our health system is being operated in the best interest of the consumer, or representatives of Medicare and Medicaid could sit on boards as well to assure the public the system of payment to hospitals is monitored. Then hospitals could be rewarded for keeping costs down rather then rewarding them for spending more.

I applaud our new governor for introducing, Dirigo Health Plan, a new health program to our state. I just wish he had put up more of an opposition with Maine hospitals to control costs.

James M. Lynch, Auburn

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