Some of you may have watched me at Rockland City Council in 2009, when I sponsored a resolve that was written to support legislation passed in Augusta that April supporting HR 676, the United States National Health Care Act. Many citizens came to council and petitioned from the podium that we should support the work of the Maine State Legislature, and sign on to their legislation.
I took on the project, and did quite a bit of research on health care costs. Health care costs are, with energy costs, the biggest contributor to rising property tax rates.
When I researched how many dollars Rockland spends on health insurance costs, and how many dollars Rockland would NOT have to spend if this country adopted a national health plan, it really was a no-brainer.
This is now 2012, and single payer health insurance is not in the national spotlight, however, I still believe it could be investigated as an option state-wide.
We also need to work to make our health care insurance system more effective, and more transparent. I still have yet to understand the bills I get. Do you? I have to call every time. For the first time in my life, I have health insurance, and it’s almost a part-time job trying to figure out how it works. It shouldn’t have to be rocket science.
I support efforts to create training opportunities for skilled health care professionals in this state. I think there is much opportunity for efficiency and streamlining of services with the use of computer technology. We need to streamline because cutting any costs at all means more people can gain access to services: but that should be the reason why we create efficiency- so that we can provide more services for less cost.
I don’t support, at all, what has been proposed by Governor LePage in terms of cuts to social services and Mainecare. We will end up paying twice, in the end, for some of the savings now. Essentially, what happens is that costs will be passed on to municipalities, as people are unable to obtain medical or housing assistance. This is the continued shell game that we have watched the legislature play, and it needs to be replaced with responsible taxation brackets, efficient management of resources, and with the goal of helping and empowering people ever in the forefront. Economically, we can’t create the workforce of the 21st century if we don’t create solutions in healthcare and education. Simply slashing a budget is just kicking a can down the road. Solutions come after a more long-term, collaborative process, – one I look forward to engaging as I represent you.