Though you wouldn’t know it from reading the Portland Press Herald, the Legislature is currently considering a bill – L.D. 1345, “An Act to Establish a Single-payor Health Care System To Be Effective in 2017” – to fund health care for all Maine citizens at an overall cost that would be less than what we currently pay.

And in such a way that Maine businesses would no longer be burdened with health insurance, and could use the resulting savings to pay their employees more and to grow.

And with the likely further result that new businesses would be drawn to the state because health care would not be their responsibility here; and that young people would be drawn as well, because word would be out that Maine is a place where you don’t have to worry about health insurance at all.

On Jan. 9, in the Cross Office Building in Augusta, the Joint Committee on Insurance and Financial Services held a public hearing on L.D. 1345.

About 45 people (one-third of them health care professionals) testified, all but two of them (private health insurance representatives) arguing in favor.

In the coming days and weeks, I hope the newspaper will cover the progress of this important legislation, so that readers can reach informed opinions about it and express them to their legislators.

Daniel C. Bryant, M.D.

Cape Elizabeth