CHARITY AS HEALTH CARE POLICY – WE CAN AND WILL DO BETTER!

The following from the New York Times Editorial Board gives yet another anecdotal example of the irrational and unfair national policy, even with the Affordable Care Act fully implemented; one, that necessitates a “charity” mentality in order to provide essential health care to Americans. We must do better. We can do better. Here in Maine, we will do better once we enact a universal single payer health...

Continue reading

Letters from the voters – Medical care isn’t shopping trip

I’m responding to Matthew Gagnon’s April 6 BDN column, regarding a bill he helped write, An Act To Encourage Health Insurance Consumers To Comparison Shop for Health Care Procedures and Treatment. His solution is to have patients compare prices for health care services, choose the cheapest and pocket some of the difference. This would make a complicated system even more cumbersome and unfriendly. If you have a...

Continue reading

Letters from the Voter – Health care needs single-payer system

When considering the best way to solve our country’s health care woes, I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s famous comment about democracy as a form of government, in which he stated, in effect: It’s a terrible system, but everything else is worse. This same statement might apply to a single-payer system in medical care as proposed by Bernie Sanders at a recent Democrat presidential debate, for it,...

Continue reading

Hot Topics – Thorpe Health Care Analysis Flawed

February 16, 2016, The Times Record – The Associated Press article containing a “fact check” on health care quoted an analysis by Emory University economist Kenneth Thorpe “suggesting” that “the accounting comes up short”. The so-called “facts” in that analysis are actually based on a number of incorrect assumptions, distortions and missing data. Doctors David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, both noted clinicians and researchers from Harvard Medical...

Continue reading

Hot Topics – Medicaid Expansion Under the Affordable Care Act Remains An Issue For The Upcoming Legislative Session

by Alice Knapp, Attorney and Maine AllCare Board Member The Supreme Court’s ACA decision last year striking down the planned withholding of all Medicaid funds from states declining Medicaid expansion paved the way for Governor LePage’s successful effort to drop more than 44,000 Mainers from MaineCare’s rolls this year. LePage argued program’s costs had become unsustainable with 27% of Mainers enrolled, including middle class families meeting strict...

Continue reading

Hot Topics – Single-payer would cut costs, improve care

By John Benziger, M.D., Kennebec (Maine) Journal, Letters, Feb. 11, 2016 Just as the tobacco and fossil-fuel industries sponsored “experts” to perpetuate the idea that their industries were harmless, the for-profit American heath care industry is now engaging in misinformation claiming Bernie Sander’s single-payer system would “break the bank.” The truth is that an “Improved Medicare For All” single-payer system would cut costs drastically and provide coverage...

Continue reading

Letters from the voters – Universal care the answer

I would like to thank columnist Matthew Gagnon for publicly acknowledging that a bad economy results in actual human suffering rather than just reduced earnings and profits in his Jan. 7 Pine Tree Politics column. With this said, now we as a state can focus on what can be done about improving our economic circumstances to help Mainers and reduce their economic dependence on government help. To...

Continue reading

Letters from voters – Maine Doctors Support Single Payer

I was interested to read the article in Friday’s Times Record about the “Broader health care debate for 2016.” Giving prominence to “single payer” makes sense because only a single-payer plan can cover everyone for all medically necessary care, eliminate financial barriers to care, and allow free choice of doctor and hospital. Single payer healthcare would also control costs. Noted healthcare economist Dr. William Hsiao, when he...

Continue reading

I had health insurance and they didn’t . . .

Editor’s Note: Maine State Senator Troy Jackson speaking to the Legislature on May 20, 2013; the crux of the speech is his personal story about a young friend and fellow lumberman who died for lack of health insurance. It is a simple and heartfelt argument for universal access to health care by everyone in Maine, regardless of age, gender, employment or ability to pay. Please watch this legislator/workingman’s...

Continue reading

Medicare at Age 50: Building on Its Success

By Nancy Altman Medicare — signed into law fifty years ago, on July 30, 1965 — was supposed to be just the first step. For the fifty years before Medicare’s enactment, progressives had fought unsuccessfully for universal, government-provided health insurance. In 1912, President Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive Party platform advocated universal, government-sponsored, health insurance, but he was defeated in his quest for another term as president. In 1917,...

Continue reading