How is it possible that so many ignorant people have gravitated to the Republican Party?

On April 11, the Maine Senate failed to override the governor’s veto of a bipartisan bill to expand Medicaid coverage for 70,000 low-income Mainers. Only Republicans lined up to give ill-informed reasons why that’s a good idea.

Gov. LePage said he was glad that taxpayers didn’t have to pay for people “who have other options for virtually free health care.” As always, he throws out these jokes without backing them up with facts.

Here is a fact: Health care is never free. Someone always pays for it. Only elected politicians get free health care.

Sen. Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon Falls, said “I don’t have money to pay for other people’s health insurance.” Well, who does he think pays for the uninsured when they get sick? Of course, like the governor, he doesn’t have a clue about the fact that his and his constituents’ insurance ends up paying for those who have none.

But why should Mason, LePage, or other elected Republicans care about their insurance picking up the tab for the uninsured? After all, their insurance is free because Maine’s taxpayers pay for it.

Now we taxpayers really get stiffed. Six or more times as much, because without Medicaid, the uninsured are forced to use the ER, and that costs a lot more in higher premiums for us than a visit to a doctor or health clinic paid for with federal dollars.

That’s an expensive tax.

Richard Fochtmann, Leeds

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