How can anyone continue to take U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud seriously when he utters nonsense when asked a clear question about whether or not he supports a public health insurance option?

In a letter to me when I asked him that question, he wrote, “One very serious concern with the current draft of the bill is that using Medicare-like rates for a public option would have a grave effect on Maine. Currently, the formula used to reimburse physicians and hospitals through Medicare puts rural states at a disadvantage by undercutting payments to our health-care providers and contributing to higher health care premiums in Maine. Making matters worse, there is a severe shortage of health-care providers in our state, and this number will continue to decrease unless we can develop a reimbursement system that will not drive our providers out of business and, ultimately, out of Maine altogether.”

As is typical of a Blue Dog Democrat, he cannot make a good, fact-driven, decision, even if it will benefit the majority of his constituents. As proof, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a report showing the effect of the health care bill on each Congressional district and the result for Maine’s 2nd District. Of the 91,000 people without health insurance, that number would decline by 72,000 under the current health care reform bill.

Michaud should know that area residents need a public health insurance option, not his rambling equivocation.

Dave Chirayath, Lewiston

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