Mike Tipping paints a simplistic picture on the expansion of MaineCare. His proposal on Feb. 1 (“Mike Tipping: New study shows life-or-death consequences of Legislature’s MaineCare vote”) is flawed. It may seem cruel to deny expanded coverage, but it would be a mistake to expand coverage.

The current MaineCare program was poorly designed. The computer program’s software functions worse than Obamacare. The fees it pays providers are less than Medicare and hardly cover their cost. Sometimes it double-pays; other times, it does not pay at all.

Yes, it has a waiting list, and its expanding costs are overwhelming the state of Maine’s treasury. Will this be deja vu when we stiff the hospitals once again? Will we overwhelm the system that it cannot handle?

Expanding the system sounds like a free lunch, but we should know better. Let’s compare this to the offers of free samples offered on TV: We can be eaten up by postage and handling.

We must consider the collateral costs involved. Expansion of MaineCare will lead to more concierge medicine. It will induce doctors to ration Medicare by limiting the percentage of inadequate-paying patients they will accept.

Let’s look at the whole picture.

Nick Pappas

Cape Elizabeth


Comments are no longer available on this story