Ensuring access to high-quality, affordable coverage of health care for Mainers has been a priority of mine since being elected to the state Senate in 2010. I spend a significant amount of time reviewing our current system. in health care as chair of the Insurance and Financial Services Committee. I am concerned about calls to completely replace it with an unreliable state government-run system that is likely to reduce access and harm families and small businesses in Maine.
During my time in the state legislature, I sponsored bills to ensure sustainable health care for our neighbors in the rural Jackman region. A government-run option would eliminate the progress we have made in expanding rural access across the state. In fact, up to half of rural hospitals could be at financial risk under the government -run system.
As a small business owner, I have personally experienced the hardship that Maine small businesses have experienced over the past two years. Whittemore & Sons has provided and serviced outdoor electrical appliances for central Maine since 1970, but we have rarely seen the hardship experienced by employees and employers due to the pandemic. Increased taxes from the government -run system will further exacerbate supply chain difficulties and rise in inflation, forcing many businesses to close and lay off workers.
A new, flawed government-controlled system will never be enough for Maine’s families and small businesses. I call on my colleagues in Augusta to build on the achievements of our current system and improve on it as needed to maintain high quality health care and coverage that is accessible to all.