‘Everyone covered, Nobody left out’

This letter to the editor by Beedy Parker of Camden, Maine was originally published in the PenBay Pilot.
You can read the original letter HERE.
January 25, 2020
To the Editor:
A report came out recently, by the Maine Center for Economic Policy for Maine AllCare , that examines the current state of cost of health care in Maine.

Maine AllCare’s  goal is “Everyone covered, Nobody left out”, via a Single Payer/Universal Health Care/Medicare for All system.

According to the report “Total spending on health care in Maine would decrease under the single-payer plan, from an estimated $13.9 billion in 2017 under the status quo, to an equivalent of $12.4 billion under the proposed single payer plan.”)  annual cost, at the same time covering the 74,000 now uncovered in Maine, and offering better coverage to the commercially insured. Dental, eye, and ear care would be included, and added to federal programs like Medicare and MaineCare, which would continue.     Hospitals, now closing around our rural state, would be better supported by improving MaineCare reimbursement, eliminating charity care, and reduced billing expenses.

Funding would be through equitable taxes replacing premiums and cost sharing, as well as diversion of federal funds. It would allow bargaining for lower cost medicines, help eliminate medical bankruptcies and fear of changing jobs, help with starting up small businesses, be an economic benefit. People who fear being dropped from MaineCare  and other assistance, would feel free to take a slightly higher paying job. Those rationing or not taking their meds would be able to afford them.

All this said, even a good comprehensive health care system will not make us healthy:  we need to regulate toxics in products and the environment, the aggressive marketing of unhealthy, additive food, and get our bodies moving again in this car ridden, indoor society.

Read the report for yourself (see maineallcare.org for  full report, 4 page summary and FAQs

Many of us have signed the Maine AllCare  cards (or signed up online), asking for a state healthcare system.  Check it out and sign up.

Beedy Parker lives in Camden