David Hughes in the Times Record!

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rightwingwoman
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David Hughes in the Times Record!
David Hughes
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

Was not my best piece.

rightwingwoman
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

I thought it was good...had more information than the Dem form letter that was in there.

Dirigo works...no facts no figures.

Michael Vaughan
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

Good job David.

What has happened as a result of the 1993 "reforms" is that regulation has transformed the insurance market from a healthy condition where the carriers were able to calculate "risk" and spread it out over the entire pool of insured, to a fatal condition, where "risk" becomes more like certain loss.

The premiums now resemble the likely claims.

Sort of like life insurance for a 99-year-old person costs $1000 per $1000 of coverage.

David Hughes
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

it was actually the watered down version of this one that they didn't want to print. Figured I'd do away with the "talking point" type of phrasology to get it printed. Personally I like this one much better but the papers have shown a strong disinterest in printing anything that might be construed as bad mouthing Democrats in general.

Ok, let's cut through the rhetoric....

Maine is in the top 5 for highest health insurance premiums in the nation. The reason for this is something called Guarantee Issue - meaning you can wait to get sick before getting health insurance and the insurer has to write the policy. This has been equated to getting in a car accident 6 months ago, getting insurance today and expecting the insurance company to pay for the accident you had 6 months ago!

Every attempt to get the problem of Guarantee Issue discussed on the floor of the house and senate in Augusta has been met with stiff resistance from the Democrats - often the proposed bills are tabled without discussion. The Democrats do not want to tackle the fundamental problem that is the reason that Maine has one of the highest health insurance costs in
the nation. They aren't even willing to discuss Guarantee Issue.

The high cost of health insurance costs every one of us living in Maine. It drives health insurance prices out of reach for tens of thousands of hard working Maine citizens. Dirigo primarily helps those who would be able to
afford health insurance on their own if not for the burden that Guarantee Issue creates.

The high cost of health insurance is also a drain on Maine's economy. Guarantee Issue adds a minimum of
30%, one study shows 150%, to health insurance premiums. That means for every $100 dollars spent on
health insurance by hard working Mainers there is about $25 that is not going to into the Maine economy
supporting local business and local people. The high cost of health insurance represents a 1 Billion dollar
drain on Maine's economy each and every year. That's 23 times to savings that is claimed under Dirigo that we could more than recoup the Savings Offset Payment through the current sales and income tax.

The Savings Offset Payment, the so-called "Dirigo Tax", is highly dubious. If we apply the very same formula used to determine Dirigo's savings to Maine's health care industry to New Hampshire we find that Dirigo somehow
saved New Hampshire about the same amount of money as Dirigo supposedly saved Maine. If we apply that very
same formula to Maine in the year prior to Dirigo we'd find that Dirigo also saved money back then - before
it existed!

Dirigo is an attempt to treat the symptom of a problem that is created by Guarantee Issue. Yes, Dirigo has
helped about 1,500 previously uninsured, yes it has made health care more affordable for about another
6,000 people who previously had health coverage, but one does have to wonder, how many more employers would
have been able to offer affordable health insurance coverage to their employees if there was a 25% rate
reduction? How many more people who had insurance wouldn't need government subsidized insurance if there
was a 25% rate reduction? Keep in mind when you think about those questions that studies show that for every
1% increase in health insurance premiums around 1,000 people drop their health insurance coverage. Dirigo
does not address the fundamental problem with Maine's health insurance market - the high cost of health
insurance because of Guarantee Issue for the 700,000 Maine citizens who have private insurance.

Trish Reilly is certainly right about one thing, Maine does have the lowest rate of employer-sponsored health
insurance coverage in New England. Unfortunately, this is directly attributable to Guarantee Issue -
something the Democrats in Augusta won't even discuss. Get rid of Guarantee Issue, implement a High Risk
Pool through Dirigo as the way to provide insurance to those who would otherwise have a hard time getting
insurance as well as the chronically uninsured and stop this artificial 1 billion dollar a year drag on
Maine's economy.

Maine citizens have shown time and again that they are willing to help those who in need so long as the money
is spent wisely. Dirigo would be a wise expenditure of tax dollars if it was part of more fundamental
reforms that offered real reductions in the cost of health insurance premiums for all of Maine's citizen.
Getting rid of Guarantee Issue will lower health insurance premiums for everyone.

cover_maine
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

[quote="David Hughes"]Was not my best piece.[/quote]

I beg to differ. You get right to the point.

The Titular Heads of the Democrat Party and their bulldog, Trish Riley, keep saying nobody has a better alternative than their health care plan. Republicans do. They had it written in to the original Dirigo legislation. If Dirigo was found to be ineffective, then a Risk Pool would be the next step.

A massive reduction in health insurance premiums would be a huge economic stimulus....and the unnecessary cost, made even higher with the SOP, is holding back business activity.

Great job David. We need dozens more of you to follow suit.

rightwingwoman
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

David - Did the editrix make you edit your piece - or did she do it herself? What were her reasons?

leadfoot
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

I'D LIKE TO HEAR YOUR REPLY ON THE VERY RECENT VOTE ON MEDICARE CUTS.AND HOW THE LEFT MADE THAT HAPPEN!
AND HOW THE RIGHT IS TRYING TO PROTECT THE LESS FORTUNATE IN THIS COUNTRY.
I HAVE AN IDEA IT WOULDN'T BE A LONG POST. DUE TO LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER

David Hughes
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

I submitted the first one and recieved no response from her. On the day I was going to call and ask about it Mayo's piece appeared so I rewrote the response to suite Mayo's piece and submitted it. Day later I got a confirmation e-mail. The editing was solely my decision.

FLAMMENWERFER
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

The MS/KJ need look no further for their new conservative columnist. They may yet learn to yearn for the return of his predecessor.

David Hughes
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

[quote="leadfoot"]I'D LIKE TO HEAR YOUR REPLY ON THE VERY RECENT VOTE ON MEDICARE CUTS.AND HOW THE LEFT MADE THAT HAPPEN!
AND HOW THE RIGHT IS TRYING TO PROTECT THE LESS FORTUNATE IN THIS COUNTRY.
I HAVE AN IDEA IT WOULDN'T BE A LONG POST. DUE TO LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER[/quote]

Name more than a dozen Democratic house members who supported a Republican lead effort to rid the budget of prok barrel spending line by line. If I recall only 14 votes in the house were garnered in that effort, 2 from Republicans. Democrats few for their personal pork just as much as most Republicans, that pork in this years budget would have covered the cuts just passed.

The federal cuts in Medicaid, as well as lesser ones in Medicare, show the same thing that Katrina exposed to the world - you cannot depend on the federal government, at all, ever. It's the same problem Maine is facing with LIHEAP this year. And the governor would have as all on a state run single payer universal health care system that would be largely dependant on the federal government not reducing the rate of growth, not revoking our waivers and not making outright cuts to the programs. I have to ask, is he insane?

There are the less fortunate by lot in life and then there are the less fortunate who have figured out that government is, if you are willing to sacrifice some status in life, a better way to make a living. I'm all for helping people who really do need help but I'm more for helping people who could otherwise help themselves if it were not for government getting in the way.

You want to help 20,000 Maine people who are "less fortunate" get health insurance coverage? Get the dems in Augusta to withdraw Guarantee Issue, community rating and single person "group insurance". The governor manages 1,700 in one year, getting rid of those three boondogles would cover 3 times that in the first year.

JIMV
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

[quote="leadfoot"]I'D LIKE TO HEAR YOUR REPLY ON THE VERY RECENT VOTE ON MEDICARE CUTS.AND HOW THE LEFT MADE THAT HAPPEN!
AND HOW THE RIGHT IS TRYING TO PROTECT THE LESS FORTUNATE IN THIS COUNTRY.
I HAVE AN IDEA IT WOULDN'T BE A LONG POST. DUE TO LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER[/quote]

'Medicare Cuts'? I seem to recall a reduction in the desired increase...

Oh, I forgot, you are a liberal. The language is not your friend. A 'cut' is anything less than the amount you desire and has no relationship to a historic spending base.

David Hughes
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

[quote="FLAMMENWERFER"]The MS/KJ need look no further for their new conservative columnist. They may yet learn to yearn for the return of his predecessor.[/quote]

I could only be so lucky....on both counts.

zmogus
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

Art Mayo is an arrogant blowhard who can't be persuaded by rational thought. You can quote me.

cover_maine
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

[quote="zmogus"]Art Mayo is an arrogant blowhard who can't be persuaded by rational thought. You can quote me.[/quote]

How dare you! That's an insult to arrogant blowhards!

Naran
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David Hughes in the Times Record!

Hey, I think I know Mayo's brother. At least it's ANOTHER arrogant blowhard, they must be related. Aren't they all? 8)

David, I second J. Frary's endorsement. You'd make a great columnist for the KJ.

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