Words and Deeds: The Results Are In and the New Health Insurance Law Raises Rates for Seniors and Rural Mainers

January 17, 2012 by

Last Legislative session, Governor LePage proposed sweeping changes to Maine’s health insurance rules.  This was one of the most contentious issues of the legislative session and represented ideologically driven policymaking at its worst.   The bill went from a 4 page document to a 39 page proposal ready for the Governor’s signature in less than 9 days and PL90 became law.

MECEP’s analysis at the time cautioned lawmakers to consider the adverse consequences for older Mainers and those in rural areas, particularly small businesses.  We reached out to legislators on both sides of the aisle and offered to explain our analysis and the implications of this proposal for their constituents.  None of the bill’s proponents took us up on our offer.  They seemed unwilling to consider any information that might challenge their assumptions or the merits of this proposal.  They even refused to let the Bureau of Insurance comment on the proposal.

MECEP insists on credible research and analysis and found the rush to enact this rollback of Maine’s health insurance consumer protections very troubling.

Now, a new report (“The Impact of PL90 on Maine’s Health Insurance Markets”), commissioned by the Maine Bureau of Insurance as an independent analysis, has confirmed exactly what MECEP predicted.  Today, the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Financial Services is holding a hearing to consider the results of this study by Gorman Actuarial.

In anticipation, MECEP and our partners at Consumers for Affordable Health Care (CAHC)  prepared a comparison of what proponents of PL90 said about the law during the 2011 legislative deliberations and the conclusions of the new report to demonstrate that many claims by PL90’s supporters were mistaken.

The evidence clearly shows that PL90 gives too much power and profits to private insurance companies, undermines important consumer protections, and fails to address the issues that result in out-of-control health care costs.  It is a flawed law that the Governor and the Legislature must act to fix it.

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