View of Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine from the parking lot under blue sky.
Central Maine Medical Center. Photo: Sam T., Flickr

In a March 23 op-ed at, Dan Bryant responds to coverage of financial crises at St. Mary’s Health System and Central Maine Medical Center, noting that among the many actions being considered, there is one glaring omission: publicly funded, universal health care.

“Many of these remedies have negative effects on patients, staff and taxpayers,” Bryant writes. “In addition, despite the print-version headline, ‘Hospitals look at all options in struggle to meet costs,’ hospitals are not looking at all the options. Overlooked is the approach to hospital funding that publicly funded universal health care plans like Medicare for All and many state-based universal health care plans propose: global hospital budgets negotiated regularly between individual hospitals and a public payer (state or federal government entity), based on the hospitals’ and their communities’ needs, not the business plans of the integrated systems that own them.”

Dan Bryant, M.D., is a retired physician who lives in southern Maine and is a volunteer and advisor for Maine AllCare.