June 30, 2012

Decision's impact stretches across Maine

(Continued from page 5)

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Opponents of President Obama’s health care plan, tea party activists Jenny Beth Martin of Atlanta, rear left, Keli Carender of Seattle and David Walls-Kaufman of Washington, get in a heated discussion with health care supporter Michael Paysour of Washington in front of the Supreme Court after the ruling on the Affordable Care Act was announced upholding most of the plan.

Washington Post photo by Katherine Frey

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9,000: The estimated number of young adults who now have health insurance due to a provision in the law that requires insurance companies to provide coverage to young adults up to age 26 on their parents’ health insurance plans.

187,251: The number of people with Medicare who in 2011 received free preventive services – such as mammograms, colonoscopies and annual wellness visits with their doctor.

$11 million: The amount that people on Medicare have saved on prescription drugs since the law was enacted.

$2,579,922: The total value of rebates that will go to 5,600 families with private health insurance this summer due to a provision in the health care law that requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care and quality improvements instead of overhead, executive salaries or marketing.

$463: The average rebate to each family.

41: The number of previously uninsured residents of Maine who as of April 2012 were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing condition and are now insured through a new plan for such people created under the new health reform law.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


The expansion would be paid for almost entirely by the federal government. But advocates fear that opponents of the law will fight the expansion in Maine and other states.

Opponents of the law in Maine, including Gov. Paul LePage, did not say Thursday whether they will oppose the MaineCare expansion in 2014.

Maine Republicans made it clear, however, that they don't believe that expanding taxpayer-funded insurance programs -- whether with federal money or state money -- will lower costs.

Sen. Rodney Whittemore, R-Skowhegan, who co-chairs the Legislature's Insurance and Financial Services Committee, said he was disappointed that the law was upheld Thursday because it doesn't do anything to stop health care costs from rising.

"There's nothing standing in front of that freight train, as far as I'm concerned," he said.

Attorney General William Schneider said it was an important victory for states to have the ability to opt out of the expansion.

"The expansion of Medicaid on the backs of state budgets through all-or-nothing bullying tactics was rejected by the court," he said in a written statement.

-- Staff Writers John Richardson, Kevin Miller and Jessica Hall contributed to this report


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