The Sun Journal’s Nov. 2 opinion piece on Maine’s economic future accurately points out that we receive pessimism and hand wringing, instead of solutions to Maine problems. In Augusta that attitude translates into more taxes, less services, and more problems for Mainers.

Sure, we have our problems, but there are solutions. We just need the political will to change.

The Sun Journal spoke of cutting the cost of health care. The Legislature recently voted down, on party-line vote, a bill that would allow the people of Maine to buy their health insurance policies outside the state where rates are much cheaper. That leaves the people of Maine with only the options being buying their insurance from a single provider or go without.

We could also establish a high risk pool and distribute the costs of health care more evenly. That would increase the number of people insured, driving down the cost of insurance for everyone.

Instead of pouring money into a failing Dirigo Health program that helps only a small portion of Mainers, we should be making insurance affordable for all Maine citizens and businesses. We need market-based solutions with regulatory reform, and people in Augusta who are willing to make it happen.

Mainers don’t have to settle for high health care costs, high taxes, low wages and few jobs. We know what works in other states, and Mainers deserve no less from Augusta.

Sen. Lois Snowe-Mello, R-Poland

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