May 20, 2013

Maine Voices: LePage should back win-win plan to pay hospital debt, expand care

Accepting federal funds to cover more families will cut the bad debt and charity care costs facing hospitals.

By Justin Alfond and Mark Eves

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Third, our comprehensive plan will boost the economy.

Our plan will save and create jobs by repaying the hospitals and injecting an additional $250 million into the state's economy. It will create more than 3,100 jobs, approximately half in the health care field, according to the Maine Center for Economic Policy. It will prevent layoffs by providing more patients to hospitals that are seeing a drop off in patients.

This comprehensive plan is a win-win for Maine people and Maine's hospitals. It addresses the costs of health care for our hospitals and our people.

Gov. LePage and Republicans have a choice to make: Will they join us in supporting a plan that pays the hospitals and accepts federal health care dollars to cover more Mainers? Or will they retreat into an ideological corner, putting politics ahead of the people's health and their own top priority?

We've upheld our end of the bargain and done what the governor has asked. Now the ball is in his court. Now is the time to act.

Justin Alfond, D-Portland, is president of the Maine Senate, and Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, is speaker of the Maine House of Representatives.


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