To the editor:
In the past 105 years, there has been no rush to duplicate the original ship. It was a bad experience and bad experiences usually are not repeated – good designs are kept and the bad ones are filed and forgotten. Unfortunately, this is not the case in politics.
Maine is being given the opportunity to revisit the past. Medicaid expansion, like Question 2 on the November ballot, was tried for several years before it rolled over and sank. By most metrics it was a failure – so obviously so it was terminated. It led to a $750 million hospital debt and a Maine budget crisis, did not meaningfully reduce the number of uninsured or the mortality rate, and may have been the cause of a reduction in Maine’s economy. It took Maine several years to dig itself out of the mess. Why would anyone think this time it would be different? (I would be interested in hearing the answer to that.)
The differences this time are likely to make things worse. There is no guarantee the federal government will maintain its support level; the federal deficit has more than doubled; Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are all financially challenged and closer to insolvency; and the funding favors the young and healthy over the elderly and truly needy. States that have implemented the program are also having serious issues. Vote no on 2 – Maine should not have to go through this again.