All the talk about universal health care has caused a major ripple in the political sphere. With 46 million people uninsured, the government is trying to have us believe that it’s necessary for health care reform. The question is though…will it really work?
Let’s take a look at the state of Maine. A state that had 128,000 citizens that were uninsured in 2003. At the time, Governor John Baldacci (D) signed into law a state-wide health care plan to combat the situation. By the time 2009 arrived, it would cover all of Maine’s citizens. The system would help keep control of hospitals and physicians to hold down insurance premiums. It was sold as a way to provide everyone insurance as well as save business and patients money. To top it off, it was stated that there would be no increase in taxes.
Well after five years of the program, not only has the program not save any money, but it has also cost the taxpayers of Maine $155 million and is still rising. Here’s how the program was supposed to work. There were to be two government programs that would cover the uninsured. The legislature greatly expanded MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program. Today Maine families with incomes of up to $44,000 a year are eligible; 22% of the population is now in Medicaid, roughly twice the national average.
Then the state created a “public option” (where have you heard that lately?) known as DirigoChoice. The plan would compete with private plans such as Blue Cross. To get lower income Mainers to enroll, it offered taxpayer-subsidized premiums. (again, this sounds familiar) The plan’s original funding source was $50 million of federal stimulus money the state got in 2003. Over the years, the plan was to be “funded by the savings in the health-care system.”
During the peak of the program in 2006, only about 15,000 people had enrolled in the DirigoChoice program. That number has now dropped to below 10,000, according to Maine’s own reporting. About two-thirds of those who enrolled already had insurance, which they dropped in favor of the subsidized public option. So instead of the 128,000 that were uninsured, the actual number is only 3,400.
Most of what is in Maine’s health care program is actually in the Obama-care bill. So why bother with trying to have a national health care program when they can’t even get it to work on a small scale? If Obama and his friends are so into this bill, then may I suggest that we do a test on the actual program on the state level. Sort of like a “try it before you buy it” program. Try it in California for five years and let’s see how successful it is at that point. If it can survive without a constant need of federal stimulus money, then I say we go ahead with it on a national level.
I know it will never work. One because that it has already been tried in Maine as well as Massachusetts and Tennessee and each time it failed. Currently in Maine, a healthy single male at the age of thirty, pays a monthly premium of $762 while a citizen in the same condition in New Hampshire only pays $222.
This bill (HR3200) needs to be stopped and the discussion of health care reform needs to be re-focused to look at tort reform. A major part of health care costs come from malpractice insurance that the doctors need to have to protect themselves from from major law-suits. The lawyers have pushed the price of health care up from the class-action suits to individual cases. As for class-action suits, no one benefits from this type of practice other than the lawyers. Lawyers will pocket millions of dollars while the people who are affected by the situation only get a few dollars each as compensation.
Will Universal Health Care really work here in America? The answer is no. If you don’t believe it, then you need to go look for the information like I did.