When Republicans talk about the new health care reform law, they talk about jobs, taxes, budget deficits and the Constitution.

Let’s talk about health care.

Until the health care reform law began giving people access to health insurance, a quarter million Mainers could not afford it or qualify for it. Those are all working-age people and their children. If Republicans succeed in destroying the law, those numbers will grow.

The uninsured still won’t get the preventive care, miraculous diagnostics, or early interventions that the insured get.

Now let’s talk about jobs, taxes, budget deficits.

Uninsured Mainers get sick more often, go undiagnosed more often, suffer more, recover more slowly, and become disabled more often than the insured. The health care they eventually receive (because it comes late) does them less good and costs us all more. They lose more in wages than the insured. As a result, the tax base is reduced, while the government has to pay more in entitlements than if everyone had access to health care. Government deficits grow.

Why are Republicans in favor of that?

Now let’s talk about the Constitution.

Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, Gov. Paul LePage, and Attorney General Schneider all now say they think the individual mandate in the law is unconstitutional. But the individual mandate was originally a Republican idea, and when it was, they were all in favor of it. So, what’s changed?

And why don’t they care whether Mainers are able to get health care?

James Parakilas, Lewiston


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