Friday, February 12, 2016

Dear Editor – From Rep. Mike McClellan

I read with interest the letter written by Former State Representative Jane Pringle advocating Medicaid expansion. While in the Maine House with her, I took the opposite view and still do. In researching the issue to write this letter, I found it interesting that most of the articles in a Google search on the subject were from the federal government telling me why to support Medicaid expansion. In Augusta I was part of a special committee that worked for two years looking at what the ACA would look like if we expanded and fully implemented it. The experience is relevant to considering now expanding Medicaid.

Maine politicians struggle to not spend. The recent 2-year budget cycle saw an increase in Maine's budget of $330 million. What did that money buy? Why are we still discussing healthcare? (Or senior needs, education or supporting people with special needs) The ACA (Obamacare) was proposed as the answer to our healthcare needs. It would be a response to the United States problem of 50 million Americans not having health insurance (also realize in the discussion health insurance and healthcare are different). Even better, our President said this was going to be so good that families would be getting $2,500 back in savings. (My check has not come yet).

Washington encourages us to expand these programs and will pay for that expansion...for a few years. Then Maine will pick up the tab (what will we have to cut to afford this move?). The Supreme Court says Washington cannot force us to expand but once we do, we can never go back regardless of results. Many federal initiatives are like that. The ADA Committee in Augusta was made up primarily of non-profit directors who clearly would benefit by having more funding. All the discussion was in favor even as the elephant in the room was an ADA Website that eventually grew to cost One billion dollars. We also heard about the IRS enforcement positions being hired, no mention of more doctors though. This is how bureaucracy works, how government grows and sadly forgets why it started the effort (50 million people). Would this be how you would start to plan to give people better health care?

You would be much better to take care of your own family, support your local health options and even your church. Government should exist to help those of us where the health issue is so big we cannot reasonably deal with it. Government expansion has sought to take that responsibility from you and make you dependent on government supports. The individual is lost in that system. I realize we are so far gone that many of us cannot afford to have the health insurance the government forces us to have (thus the need for more IRS agents). I guess better options instead of the expansion of government healthcare are a separate letter to the editor.

Rep. Mike McClellan
Maine House 66
Parts Raymond, Casco and Poland

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