This is in response to Josh Gagne’s letter (Nov. 27) concerning high-risk pools for health insurance.

More than 30 states have successful high-risk pools and premiums are as much as 45 percent lower than Maine’s. I wouldn’t consider that “slightly lower.”

To claim that anyone having a health issue becomes high risk isn’t accurate. New Hampshire has a risk pool, with fewer than 500 participants. That pool drastically reduced the cost of health insurance.

Risk pools are not funded by taxes; funding is through an assessment on insurance certificates. Maine’s original risk pool was tax funded. The Legislature stopped the funding, so it failed.

Why didn’t state officials copy a system that worked?

Gagne’s letter called for “single-payer health care.” The single-payer system is another name for socialized medicine. Our hospitals regularly treat patients from single-payer countries. Single-payer systems fail.

If people want the government to be their health care provider, consider MaineCare. MaineCare is a single-payer system. MaineCare is $400 million behind in hospital payments. Maine cannot afford to expand the mess already created.

Maine needs to implement the best features of risk pools found in other states. Track records prove they work. A little homework on the Web can prove that.

Risk-pool success is proven by facts.

Carl Duchette, East Poland

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