Republicans offer critique of Dirigo

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Anonymous
Republicans offer critique of Dirigo

Senator Nass offered a free market alternative to Dirigo today. Senators Mayo and Turner voted with the Democtats to defeat the alternative 19-14.[url=http://janus.state.me.us/legis/LawMakerWeb/rollcall.asp?ID=280010921&cha...Senator Turner was quoted in the press as saying he supported much of what was included in the alternative but he felt obligated to vote for the bill he supported in committee. He was right to stick with the deal he made, but the question remains why he made the deal to begin with.

Anonymous
Republicans offer critique of Dirigo

Health care deliberations hit late snarl
By Glenn Adams, Associated Press, 6/9/2003 18:33AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) Progress on a universal health care bill hit a last-minute snarl Monday as minority Republicans advanced their own ideas on how Maine's proposed Dirigo program should look. A special committee studying the issue was poised to complete work on the package when Republican Sen. Karl Turner of Cumberland read an 11-point list of proposed changes. The GOP changes reflect ''differences in philosophy,'' Assistant Senate Minority Leader Chandler Woodcock explained later. Republicans, who see the Democratic proposal as an expansion of Medicaid, want a program that expands insurance help to those who already have policies or are paying too much in premiums, the Farmington Republican said. Joe Ditre, executive director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care, saw the GOP proposal as an attempt to torpedo the plan his group favors. ''In my mind, it's a poison pill,'' said Ditre. Committee members called a recess as they tried to determine their next step in reporting out what will be one of the most important bills of the 2003 session. The session is expected to end within a few days. Woodcock said the Republicans may report out their own health bill. As approved by the health care committee's 9-5 vote Friday, the Dirigo plan would ensure all Mainers have access to health coverage in five years. It would expand MaineCare, the state's former Medicaid program, and make eligible individuals, families, small businesses with under 50 employees and self-employed Mainers eligible for subsidies based on ability to pay. The plan, as approved by the Democratic majority, also includes a number of cost-containment provisions, including voluntary caps on cost and operating margins of insurers, hospitals and providers. Also on Monday, the Appropriations Committee hit a snag as it was trying to finish up work on a supplemental state budget that would bridge a $48 million revenue gap. Officials from the Human Services Department explained to the budget-review committee why MaineCare spending was $15.5 million more than expected. The department was under close scrutiny already because state auditors were unable to track nearly $19 million DHS received in federal welfare funds. The $15.5 million includes $9.9 million in general fund spending over budget estimates and $5.6 million less than expected in revenues. A spokesman for Gov. John Baldacci said the money problem ''is a concern, but not a crisis.'' Lee Umphrey said money to address the problem will be available as a result of the federal tax cut bill President Bush signed into law May 28. The 10-year, $350 billion package includes aid to states along with tax rebates, lower tax rates and new breaks for businesses and investors.

Elaine
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Joined: 08/09/2002 - 12:01am
Re: Republicans offer critique of Dirigo

"The money is a concern but not a crisis"---how touching since the missing $19 million hasn't been explained to the taxpayers of Maine.Enough is enough. The "nanny state" continues to thrive and the honest taxpaying citizen will pay the bills and eventually be forced to move out of state because of all the social programs and give-aways by the "caring" politicians in Augusta. Why not have the politicians start paying for their health care out of their salaries "we" pay them and not take advantage of the benefits provided to them on the backs of taxpayers.Enough. Time to go to work so I can afford to pay my taxes while trying to survice in Maine---the "taxationland" for residents and "vacationland" for all the others.

Doug Thomas
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Joined: 08/29/1999 - 12:01am
Re: Republicans offer critique of Dirigo

George, Could you post the 11 points?

Bob Stone
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Joined: 06/08/2003 - 12:01am
Re: Republicans offer critique of Dirigo

Forget them, Doug. They were negotiated down to three and compromises made on those. It is over. This thing is on the fast track out of the station.[ 06-10-2003: Message edited by: Bob Stone ]

Anonymous
Re: Republicans offer critique of Dirigo

The Press Herald reports a "compromise" was reached on the plan:[url=http://www.pressherald.com/news/statehouse/030610health.shtml]http://www...The article does not offer many details.[ 06-10-2003: Message edited by: George ]

Bob Stone
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Joined: 06/08/2003 - 12:01am
Re: Republicans offer critique of Dirigo

From reading between the lines, it appears as though the Republicans modified it to the maximum extent possible and got what they could. The Democrats had the votes to pass a bill much worse. As a poster said last night on this forum "You can't stop it now!".Maine has it, like it or not. It won't matter if it doesn't work or not. The Democrats will just throw more money at it. This thing will be touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread.Let's sit back and hang on. This is Maine's deepest penetration into the world of socialism yet.[i] I hope someone pulls all of the negotiated changes together into one document so that we all can understand what "it" is. I hope that the legislators read "it" at least one time before voting for "it".[/i][ 06-10-2003: Message edited by: Bob Stone ][ 06-10-2003: Message edited by: Bob Stone ]

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