Editorial Round-up: Commentaries Condemn LePage Administration’s Proposed Health Care Budget Cuts

Over the holidays, our newspapers published several columns, many by Maine health care advocates, criticizing the LePage Administration’s proposed $220 million in cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services budget.

In a 12/28/2011 editorial, the Portsmouth Herald called the Administration’s plan “unsubstantiated, unfair, unthoughtful and possibly quite costly.”

In a 12/31/2011 Bangor Daily News op ed the leaders of three of Penobscot County’s most prominent community health care organizations wrote to “urge policymakers to analyze what the impact of 65,000 newly uninsured Mainers really means to our health care infrastructure and total health care costs, and only then make truly informed decisions regarding the MaineCare program.”

Richard A. Erb, President and CEO of the Maine Health Care Association, wrote in the 1/1/2012 (Lewiston) Sun Journal that “for some 4,000 assisted living residents and their families, Gov. Paul LePage’s supplemental budget proposal to completely eliminate part of Maine’s long-term-care system is cause for grave concern this holiday season.”

In the 1/2/2012 edition of the Kennebec Journal, former director of the Consumer Health Care Division of the Maine Bureau of Insurance Alice Knapp asserts “that health care is a basic human right and that access to health care is a moral issue.”  She cites an American Journal of Public Health
study finding that “every 12 minutes an American dies from lack of health insurance as the uninsured are more likely to go without needed care.”

MECEP and our partners in the Maine Can Do Better coalition of Maine progressive advocacy groups will continue to work to block the proposed cuts and provide reasonable alternatives.   Follow this blog, and MECEP’s Facebook and Twitter postings to keep up on our efforts.