Gov. Paul LePage has once again made the claim that adults who live below 100 percent of the poverty line, or $908 per month, and working families living below 200 percent of the poverty level, or $3,089 per month for a family of three, should be cut from the MaineCare program.

He justifies this cut, in part, by claiming that people at this level of income can afford to buy private health insurance coverage. That claim is obviously ill-informed.

Each of us ends up paying private insurance premiums that include the costs of treating the uninsured, since hospital charges include the costs of covering people without insurance who end up in the emergency room. Why not, therefore, spend the money to provide preventative (i.e., less expensive) care for people, to treat their conditions before they need to go to the hospital emergency department?

Jack Comart


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