When is it scheduled for work session?
The committee is meeting today on other bills....and work session Tuesday on yet others. I've heard the whole legislature is way, way behind. Probably won't be until late next week or sometime during the week following.
Anybody else heard anything?
Big change: The Democrats used to dismiss this topic out of hand (or give it the back of their hand, that is!).
"Risk Pools Don't Work!" or "Dirigo will fix everything." or "Give Dirigo a Chance first!" or any number of other mindless mantras have been thrown at us for years in the face of overwhelming evidence that Maine people pay twice for their health insurance as just about anybody else "back in America."
Now: Dirigo has failed to do anything. Health insurance premiums are going up even more. The only reason Maine has a low uninsured rate is that we have FOUR TIMES the population as most states getting Medicaid (NH = 6% ME = 23% !!!!) and it is bankrupting the budget. These and other factors are forcing them to look at the free market.
It's about time!
LD 439, An Act To Reform the Dirigo Health Program
LD 476, An Act To Establish a Reinsurance Fund To Expand Health Insurance Coverage
LD 912, An Act To Return Affordable Health Insurance to the State
LD 1047, An Act To Lower the Cost of Health Insurance
LD 1230, An Act To Protect Consumers against Inadequate Health Care Coverage
LD 1517, An Act To Allow Maine Consumers To Purchase Health Insurance from Out-of-State
LD 1592, An Act To Protect Small Businesses and Individual Health Insurance Consumers
LD 1640, An Act To Allow Health Insurance Premiums To Vary Based on Behaviors Pertaining .
LD.1659, An Act To Improve the Affordability of Health Insurance for Maine People
LD 1715, An Act To Reduce the Cost of Health Insurance
LD 1742, An Act To Permit Greater Flexibility in the Design of Affordable Health Insurance
LD 1760, An Act To Restore Competition to Maine's Health Insurance Market
LD 1082, An Act To Create a Maine-based Independent Nonprofit Health Insurance Company
[quote]LD 1082, An Act To Create a Maine-based Independent Nonprofit Health Insurance Company[/quote]
Didn't we have have one of these at one time (Blue Cross), but it was sold to an out of state company by passing it through two or three shell companies so no one could follow what wheels were getting greased in the process :evil:
[size=7]edited for spelling[/size]
[quote="Michael Vaughan"]LD 439, An Act To Reform the Dirigo Health Program
LD 1082, An Act To Create a Maine-based Independent Nonprofit Health Insurance Company[/quote]
I'm glad to see you are giving yourselves plenty of time to debate these weighty issues! :wink:
I'm putting my money on nothing happening.
They will say...Just give Dig-a-hole a chance.
Word is the Vaughan and Pilon free market health insurance reforms bills (and others) will have a work session on Friday.
I remain cautiously pessimistic....but who knows?!?
[quote="rklindell"]...I'm glad to see you are giving yourselves plenty of time to debate these weighty issues![/quote]Well, there might be some "killin" goin on.
We were there from 9:00 AM till 6:30 or so today. Just barely saw the House Chamber.
Interesting to hear Trish Riley's comment (er, admission?) there are 14,000 covered by Dirigo. That's down from the 18-20,000 they claimed not very long ago. Is that the hard number or are they finally not including the money stolen from Dirigo to put people on MaineCare?????
Another sign of the lack of understanding on how an insurance plan works: a well-managed program will have a minimum of 10% attrition as people move on to other plans. Did the GOHP forget this fact or not understand it to begin with?
I'd also love to hear the claims experience for Dirigo. Aside from MaineCare, it is the only form of insurance with immediate coverage and no exclusion of pre-existing conditions. Regular small group and individual policies require that you've had insurance in the previous 90 days. With Dirigo you can carry no insurance and walk in the front door and they have to pay for everything.
Dirigo could really benefit from a reinsurance or risk pool as much as any other plan! Guaranteed Issue is a Guaranteed Mess!!!
Referring to that 14-plus thousand insured number:
Dirigo has a built in provision for a High Risk Pool and they are counting the number of $100,000+ claims people. The Dirigo HRP is not active, but they are due to issue a report any time.
Here's a bomb:
Of the 14,000, there are 1000 eligible for the HRP.
The formula is supposed to be 1%....that would be 140 HRP patients, not 1000.
1000 HRP patients is enough for 100,000 regular insured folks.
Can you say "Adverse selection?"
I knew you could.
:shock: "can you say adverse selection"
can you say bankrupt??? :shock:
good luck in session Friday...I'll say a prayer for ya and bend my elbow while I'm at !!!
[quote][b]Baldacci unveils 'Dirigo 2.0' at hearing, to cheers and jeers[/b]
By Meg Haskell
Thursday, May 17, 2007 - Bangor Daily News
AUGUSTA â€” Lawmakers, state officials and lobbyists staked out positions Wednesday on the complicated piece of legislation Gov. John Baldacci has dubbed "Dirigo 2.0."
The bill would make adjustments to the contentious DirigoChoice insurance program â€” enacted in the governorâ€™s first term to provide affordable health coverage to low-income Mainers â€”and proposes a number of changes to the way commercial health insurance is regulated in Maine. [/quote]
Here comes a new surcharge on hospital bills, in addition to the current "savings offset payment" collected from insurance companies. Not surprisingly, the hospitals aren't too happy about the proposal.
Another tax on the backs of those who do pay their bills, to fund those who do not.
Do you have a plan B funding alternative for the subsidies?
MV: So what is the mind set besides trying to throw so many new Health Ins. laws in the mix that it just confuses the issue and nothing gets done again??
MV: I realize you and others are like David fighting Goliath, but as small business owner, having a hard time with my Health Insurance premiums, cant' afford to keep financing Dirigo, and the socialists ideas their in Dusgusta, I'm behind you and others fighting for people like us, praying for a miracle on Friday!
A lot of them are different versions of the same thing submitted by different legislators. Some of them are just bad.
If you take those LD numbers from the previous page, you can plug them into the bill status search engine from my sticky thread at the top.
Just read the bill summary under the bill text tab.
How many people will lose their jobs, full or part time because of Dirigo 2.0 (as the BDN calls it)? Please...deliver us from evil! I feel like I live behind the Iron Curtain sometimes. Maybe we should call the bridge in Kittery just that.... The Iron Curtain.
MV: While your fighting it out tomorrow: my husband would like Health Insurance Savings Accounts. Sounds like a very good plan, for small business owners such as ours. My cousin out of state (who has sold insurnace for 30+ years)mentioned this plan to us, but not affordable in Maine, for someone with 3 employees with current regs. Thanks again for everything !!!
Rightie: You can get a HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan) paired with a HSA (Health Savings Account) in Maine.....it's a move in the "right" direction. Only problem is you end up buying a $5000 deductible at a premium that would buy you a $500 or $1000 deductible just about anywhere else "BACK IN AMERICA."
The plans put forth by Mike Vaughan (Risk Pool) and even Don Pilon (Reinsurance Pool) would, over time, bring rates down to levels that NH has -- often HALF of what indivdiuals and small business pays here in Maine. Carriers will return. Premiums drop. More people will find it affordable to live, work and actually buy a decent health insurance policy in Maine.
What these guys are talking about is a concrete plan to reverse the Guaranteed Issue (Guaranteed MESS, that is!!!) law passed in 1993. At that time Maine had nearly 100,000 people holding individual health insurance policies -- today that is less than 30,000.
The facts speak for themselves. The Democrats pushed through laws that were the direct cause of over 60,000 people dropping individual health insurance! MaineCare welcomed them with open arms and we went from 9% of the population getting "free" healthcare to over 22% -- and it is bankrupting the state. It is also part of the welfare enslavement of the underclass as one more "benefit lost" to workers if they go out and get a good-paying job!
These "PROGRESSIVE" Democrats have created an underclass that is, in turn, beholding to their party as a voting block -- and then the D's turn and tax them with the most regressive tax system in America!!
Maine: The State that First Sees Moonbeams!
Next: Replace the Chickadee with the Moonbat as State Bird!
I'M ALL FOR LOWERING RATES, MY COUSIN LIVES IN OHIO, SO HSA'S ARE PROBABLY FEASIBLE THERE.
I REMEMBER WHEN DEMS. PUT ALL THE REGULATIONS ON THE HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES, AND PRICED THEM ALL OUT OF STATE, EXCEPT FOR A FEW, AND THAT'S WHY ARE RATES WENT OUT THE WINDOW. I WISH EVERYONE, WHO ISN'T ON WELFARE UNDERSTOOD THAT? SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE TO GET RID OF ALL THOSE REGULATIONS, I CAN'T AFFORD TO FOOT THE BILL FOR THIS WELFARE STATE ANYMORE.
GLAD THERE ARE SOME IN DUSGUSTA LEFT TRYING TO HELP, I CAN'T KEEP UP WITH ALL THATS GOING ON THERE AND WORK TOO.
My husband has his insurance through BC/BS in out of Massachusetts. I'm not really sure exactly how it works, but he says that they buy insurance for up to 70K per person over that they have a secondary insurance that kicks in and pays the higher premium...I guess that would be the high risk pool. I am fairly un educated in the insurance market as we are very fortunate to have 100% family coverage no deductable plus up to 1200 in dental per person per year. My husband would much like to work in Maine, but it is not possible to get an insurance plan such as his here...shame on us, we did not look into that when we moved...we could afford the cut in pay, but the insurance premiums would put us in the poor house.
My point is if insurance can be so affordable to this company in Massachusetts then Maine is truley behind the eight ball and many of the citizens are suffering badly for this mis management.
Thank you very much Representative Vaughn for your efforts and I hope you are succesful tommorrow. It will certainly be a welcome beginning to a positive change here in Maine.
Beth, what you describe sounds like a company with enough employees to to partial self funding....not to bore y'all with the details...but a firm will pay it's own claims up to a certain point (maybe $70000 or more) and from that point on they have a "stop loss" point where insurance pays claims.
The large employer market carries well beyond the base point of this thread (which is fine be me) as a group of any size has a better opportunity to spread risk. That's one difference in the situation you describe, Beth. Another is greater competition between providers in Mass...it lowers hospital costs. Another is fewer people on Medicaid and Medicare in Mass where the group is based. We have more old people and poor people in Maine...and the insurance they have underpays chronically, so those with insurance pay more. On top of that, you hubby's Mass employer probably is a bit more well-to-do than the typical Maine employer...so they can afford to subsidize the coverage more. All that math = you pay less.
And Mass, by the way, is a guaranteed issue state in the individual market. That sector of their market sucks almost as much wind as Maine's does!
My husband says that is exactly what happens at his company and gave me the run down on how it works.
I am still absorbing and the more I absorb the mor Dirigo looks like crap!
Regardless, I hope there are positive changes made today, but I won't hold my breath!
Health Ins. Junkies and Insomniacs, let's eavesdrop.....
They are talking Dare-I-Go, Risk Pool, Reinsurance and other bills right now (Friday afternoon)
The Republicans, led by Jon McKane, just moved to kill Mike Vaughan's bill -- the best one of the lot. There must be some kinda deal in the making????
Nancy Sullivan is asking that Vaughan's bill be tabled so that it can be discussed on Tuesday in conjunction with the Governor's bill.....and so it will be......sounds like they will "cannabalize" the best parts of all the Risk/Reins legislation into one bill that's a "best of". Hopefully it doesn't end up being a "worst of" which certainly has been the track record.
As painful as it has been, have listened almost an hr. to the Ins. & Fin. Services Committee, didn't get to hear all of it what about Ld439, LD476, and LD912?
Well that was a big waste of time.
I heard an awful lot of laughing in the background...maybe it's just me but I didn't find any of that a laughing matter.
I have come to the conclusion that nothing will get fixed, Maine will embrace a complete socialist society and we will watch it spread...so goes Maine so goes the nation :cry:
Oh, I forgot thanks Mike, let's see how they butcher your bill on Tuesday...but again thanks for the effort.
Well, now everyone in my office hates me, and I still no nothing more than I did before I tuned in.
Is it all tabled?
Actually it was the Walker HRP bill (LD 912) that was killed.
LD 1047 now known as "The Vaughan Bill" is alive and well and tabled until Tuesday.
LD 1760 "The Pilon Bill" is alive and well tabled until Tuesday.
LD 1659 ONTP
LD 476 Tabled (Sen Rosen Reinsurance)
LD 1230 ONTP
LD 1517 Divided (Sen Smith Buy insurance from out-of-state)
LD 1715 ONTP (McKane HSA companion bill)
LD 1592 Tabled
LD 1082 Carried over
LD 439 ONTP
LD 1742 ONTP
LD 1703 OTPA
There, a little homework for y'all using the Bill Status Search Engine.
Does anyone know which bill they worked on last...
for over an hour? All I heard was something about
a limit of 45% on some sort of loan interest.