Every Person Deserves Access To Health Care

Julie Pease | Bangor Daily News | August 5, 2013

On the occasion of Medicare’s 47th birthday, we urge the immediate expansion of Medicare to everyone in the United States. We need a health care system that provides access to every one of us, no matter how sick, poor, old or unemployed we may be. We need reduced costs. We need improved health outcomes.

The Affordable Care Act is not the solution. At its best, the ACA will leave 75,000 Maine people without health coverage. Another 110,000 or more will be underinsured and at risk for financial catastrophe or death when they get sick.

The ACA will not slow the soaring costs of health care. Maine’s health care costs, currently $8500 per capita per year, will remain among the highest in the country. With no restriction on prices charged by insurance companies, many people will find even the lowest-tier policies unaffordable. Others will be unable to afford deductibles and necessary care. Still more will be bankrupted by out-of-pocket expenses when they get sick. Patients will be compelled to defer health care until they are desperately ill, further eroding public health in Maine and the rest of the nation.