A true feel-good experience
Dear Editor: A small businessman, a retired physician, a legislator and a former nurse walked into a bar … well, not a bar, but a recent meeting at the Deer Isle Town Hall. Much as I don’t care for meetings, this one recently made me feel good about my fellow citizens.
The subject was the strategy for dealing with the out-of-control relationship between health care costs and health insurance costs. Joe Lendvai, small businessman, founding member of Maine AllCare, and Lynn Cheney of Blue Hill, Maine AllCare Downeast Chapter leader, joined Dr. Jeff Milliken and our own Walter Kumiega for a most informative panel discussion. They described the efforts of Maine AllCare, a committee of conservatives and liberals working together to craft a response for Maine. See the website www.maineallcare. org to learn about how we might get publicly funded universal coverage under a more efficient system the way all other industrialized countries are doing these days.
Just as we pay as a group for the costs of our roads, police, fire protection and education, so we could rearrange things with a simpler system so that health insurance costs — even before mentioning health disasters — don’t threaten our families, small businesses and independent contractors with financial ruin. Our small rural hospitals need not be threatened with bankruptcy due to unreimbursed emergency room visits from the uninsured. Our family physicians could spend their time on their patients, not the costly paperwork and a hassle of negotiating with insurance companies.
What do we do right now, at the moment while details are being worked out? We can all inform ourselves at the website, question closely the candidates in the forthcoming mid-term elections, and immediately support lowering the age for Medicare to 50. These are potential steps before we even get to the thorny question of how to deal with the private insurance companies and Big Pharma lobbies. Apparently California and New York states are poised to adopt a single-payer plan and it’s up to us to make sure New England is not far behind.
Do you want these generous good citizen volunteers to come make a presentation to your group? Contact them at info@maineallcare. org and feel good about yourself.
Marnie Reed Crowell Sunset