This is in response to Laurie Kane-Lewis’ guest column, “Embrace opportunity to expand MaineCare” (April 30).

Here we go again. Another month, another writer stating what a wonderful idea it is to add 70,000 able-bodied Mainers to the state’s welfare system. Medicaid (MaineCare) was intended as a safety net for the truly needy, not as a way to redistribute wealth.

I realize that the ultimate goal for the socialist/Democrat party is a single-payer program, and the best way to do that is through constant expansion of the welfare system, but there is no example of any successful single-payer system that has not reduced medical care, or bankrupted the medical system.

Kane-Lewis goes through the typical Democrat Party talking points but fails to mention “who will foot the bill” for that additional welfare coverage. She fails to mention that every dollar spent on welfare by the  government has to be taken away from a taxpayer.

She fails to mention that the U.S. government is $17.5 trillion in debt, and every man, woman and child in this country has a personal debt of more than $54,000 just to pay off the past promises of elected officials’ spending commitments.

She fails to mention that under the wonderful Obamacare program, many of those 70,000 low-income recipients are already eligible for insurance plans for as little as $55 per month.

She fails to mention that Maine is already above the national average in welfare benefits, and has a national image of welcoming welfare recipients from other parts of the country.

That image needs to change downward, not increase.

She fails to mention that, currently, there are more than 3,000 Mainers on the waiting list for Medicaid. Those Mainers should be provided for before adding to the welfare rolls.

She fails to mention that after three years, Maine would be responsible for the increased welfare program, and it would be a state budget-breaker.

We all want to help the truly needy, but government dependence is not the way to do that. Throwing more government money at poverty has not worked. Despite record-spending on poverty programs, 46 million people were in poverty in 2012, a 30 percent increase from 2008.

Poverty arises from joblessness, and government regulation policies that are job-friendly are needed. Unfortunately, the current president’s administration is focused on expanding the socialist/welfare system instead of creating jobs (example: the Keystone pipeline). Until voters elect more common-sense people to federal, state and local governments, the socialist trend will continue.

In Maine, we are fortunate to have a governor who has common sense about priorities — job creation, not welfare expansion.

I thank Gov. LePage for using his veto power to truly represent Maine taxpayers.

George Mathews, Auburn


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