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November 2014

Healthcare Information For Maine Voters

5 Questions and 5 Facts

Editor's note: The following voter information was developed by Maine AllCare members William D. Clark, MD and Gail Eaton, MBA.

All candidates for Maine House and Maine Senate should be able to tell voters how they would assure that every Mainer has access to comprehensive healthcare, and how their position would affect both the Maine economy and Mainers’ expenses.

Questions You Could Ask Your Candidates

  1. How would you get all Mainers access to comprehensive medical care?
  2. Would you vote for Medicaid expansion in Maine? Why?
  3. Would you vote to fund healthcare for all Mainers with a simple, universal and fair tax program (like, for example, Social Security)? Why?
  4. Would you vote to change Maine’s current profit-oriented healthcare system to a patient-oriented one, such as improved Medicare for all? Why?
  5. What methods to contain and minimize Mainers’ healthcare expenses would you vote for?

Top Maine Healthcare Facts

Maine Economy and a Patient-Oriented System: Transition to a Medicare-for-All type system would cover every Mainer AND, save a billion dollars the first year. (Dr. William Hsiao, healthcare policy expert, speaking to Maine Legislature, October, 2010.)

Maine Economy and Medicaid: If Maine accepted federal Medicaid funds . . .

  • almost 70,000 Mainers (about half of whom are working) would gain health care access, AND
  • Maine would gain about 4,400 jobs and over $500,000,000 in annual economic activity by 2016. (Maine Center for Economic Policy)

Maine Medical Association: 64% of MMA physicians favored a patient care-oriented, single-payer approach, rather than trying to improve our current profit-oriented system (Maine Medical Association, March, 2014)

Uninsured: between 100,000 and 130,000 Mainers lack insurance - even after full ACA coverage kicks in. (Health Affairs Blog, 2014)

Maine bankruptcy: More than 2000 personal bankruptcies were filed in Maine in 2013; and from validated national data, we estimate that 1400 were due to medical bills, and that ¾ of the 1400 had health insurance. (www.healthcareforallcolorado.org)

 

Good news for Healthcare for Everyone in Maine! Our support is growing.

The results are in: Single-payer 64 – Current system 36

On Monday, March 10th the Maine Medical Association (MMA) released the results of their recent survey on their members’ “attitudes and opinions about the directions which reform of our current healthcare system should take...” The crux of the 462 responders’ message was a resoundingYES in support for universal, single-payer coverage of all Mainers.

12-point Increase in Physician Support of Single-payer Health Care in Maine between 2008 and 2014

The survey, a repeat of one completed in 2008, was the product of a resolve introduced by Drs. Petzel, Dillihunt, Maier and Maine AllCare president Pease during the MMA’s annual meeting in October 2013. You can read more about the complete results here, as it appeared in the MMA “Spotlight” feature, online.

Support for single payer heathcare growing in Maine