Regarding the story referencing John and Judy Williams and health insurance costs (April 1):

The debate about health insurance has been about whether Mainers of modest or low income deserve a “handout” or social welfare. This misses the point. Situations like those described in this article are bad for Maine. Mrs. Williams is considering making less so she’ll qualify for a subsidy. They’re counting down the days until they qualify for Medicare. How does this help Maine?

Our state has a responsibility to encourage economic innovation, growth and small-business development. We want our people to be able to support themselves, and to prosper. Mainers want that for themselves.

Starting or maintaining a small business, be it lobstering or running a Christmas tree farm or opening a restaurant, is always risky. Looking at premiums far above your mortgage payment can be the tipping point, and rather than start a new, innovative business, the entrepreneur has to seek employment elsewhere, even if just for the benefits. Our state loses when this happens.

Rather than debate whether health care is a right, a more productive discussion is how we can start and grow businesses in Maine. The state should embrace options to make health insurance more affordable as a way to encourage business development. Expanding access to MaineCare is one step. Maintaining measures such as mandatory elements of plans to keep as many people as possible in the insured pools is another. Exploring options for larger insurance pools, including potentially state-sponsored health insurance, as a way to grow businesses and benefit the economy, is part of the state’s job. Knee-jerk partisan political posturing helps no one.

We need our leaders to do their job and look at options for change.

Elizabeth Stout


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.