We’re writing to you today because Maine’s system of health care protections is at risk. We are seeing a number of proposed bills this session that, if enacted, will work to eliminate the consumer protections we’ve advocated for in Maine’s private insurance market. These protections have made us a leader in the nation for health status and coverage – protections that benefit seniors, women, those with acute and chronic conditions, such as cancer and diabetes, and, in fact, all Mainers.
This legislative session, there are proposals that would allow the sale of out-of-state insurance in Maine, eliminate guaranteed issue and/or community rating, and that would decimate Maine’s health care safety net – MaineCare. Without guaranteed issue and community rating, Mainers will be put at risk as people with cancer and chronic conditions, as well as parents of children with asthma or other pre-existing conditions lose access to affordable coverage or worse are denied coverage all together.
Although all Maine people agree that we need to foster job growth and the rejuvenation of Maine’s economy, rebuilding our economy should not trump the health of Maine people. Before we strip Maine families of the consumer protections currently in place, hard data and a full understanding of the realm of unintended consequences should be thoroughly examined. Restructuring our current consumer protections should be evidence based, not driven by anecdotes.
We fear, however, that the current climate does not lend itself to a thoughtful debate on these issues.
The groups listed below have worked together in the past to help improve health care access, cost and quality for all Mainers. We are in the process of creating a new Alliance of partner organizations dedicated to the concept that every person in Maine should have access to high quality health care at a cost they can afford.
If this Alliance interests you and the patients you serve or constituents you represent please respond to the following questions:
- Would your group like to learn more about the Alliance?
- If your group were to participate in the Alliance, what kind of resources (e.g. grassroots organizing, communications, etc.) do you have available?
Thank you in advance for your response. Please also let us know if you have any questions.
American Cancer Society
Maine Center for Economic Policy Maine Parent Federation
Consumers for Affordable Health Care Maine Equal Justice Partners
Maine People’s Alliance