The Sun Journal editorial on Oct. 5 states that Maine has its own “public option” health insurance program. If there’s a Maine health insurance agency administered by the state with much cheaper rates than for-profit insurance companies, offering several insurance plans from which I can chose, well, that’s news to me.

The editorial also mentions Massachusetts’ health care plan. What it doesn’t say is that premiums increased 10 percent in 2009.

Health care/insurance reform will happen this year. At least, it will be called that. It will require coverage of pre-existing conditions, maintaining coverage if someone gets sick, have no cap on lifetime coverage, and more. I’ve often read that with millions of new enrollees, insurance companies will offer this coverage without raising rates. If anyone believe that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell.

Without new regulations strictly forbidding price increases over the rate of inflation, insurance companies will just continue raising prices. Such a regulation would force them to cut costs like every other company in America is doing.

Don’t like government dictating what companies charge? Then the only way to keep them from raising premiums is a true public option — competition. The “exchanges” idea has been tried and has done nothing to curb health care and insurance costs. The only thing that will work is a public option.

Our representatives in Congress must fight for a public option.

Claire Dupuis, Poland

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