Health Care for All Mainers
Maine’s working families are struggling to keep up with the rising costs of healthcare. Meanwhile, corporate special interests are trying to roll back the progress we’ve made to expand access to quality care. We need to stand up to corporate special interests to make sure that every Mainer has access to affordable and quality care.
From crippling prescription drug costs, to surprise billing, to ever- increasing insurance rates, health care costs keep going up. Over 200,000 Mainers have gone without care or prescribed medication due to the cost, and at least 100,000 remain uninsured. As this pandemic continues and unemployment rates keep rising, more and more Mainers will be forced to go without critical health care services.
Addressing Maine's Revenue Shortfall
Continue the federal Health Insurance Assessment at the state level.
A national health insurance assessment on carriers is expiring on January 1, 2021. Health insurance companies paid this fee to help cover the cost of major coverage expansions that benefited the industry by increasing its customer base under the Affordable Care Act.
Rather than let this expire, Maine can pass a state-level assessment. This could bring in more than $30 million in revenue that otherwise would be pocketed by insurance companies, which can be used to subsidize premiums for low-income individuals, close the Affordable Care Act “family glitch,” or to support small businesses.
Create a Health Care Affordability Board for Maine.
Last session, Senate President Jackson introduced a bill that would have established a Health Care Affordability Board. Based on the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, this Board would gather information that would help us understand the problems of our healthcare system. With that information, Maine can focus funds to make necessary improvements to our healthcare systems.
The Legislature should take this bill back up, while also ensuring funding for the Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which was previously created by the Legislature.
Make prescription drugs more affordable for Mainers.
Over 200,000 Maine families have gone without needed prescription medication due to cost. At the same time, Big Pharma keeps hiking up their prices. Maine can put policies in place that cap prices on life-saving drugs and prevent price gouging. Our Attorney General can also use his power to hold Big Pharma accountable, including increasing oversight on prices and transparency from bad actors.