House Speaker Robert Nutting claims in his Jan. 16 letter to the editor that Gov. Paul LePage’s MaineCare cuts avoid gimmicks and the “kick the can down the road” approach. Not true.

For example, the governor’s proposal to cut 18,000 people off the childless adult waiver program is a gimmick and will kick the can down the road. (By the way, the federal government approved the waiver in the first place only because it saves money.)

It is a gimmick because it will shift health care costs from the federal government to Maine towns and cities, to hospitals and to those of us with private health insurance. People’s need for health care services do not go away if the program goes away.

It “kicks the can down the road” because, in January 2014, this same group of people will, by law, come back onto the program and at a much higher cost than if they kept their health coverage now. Putting off their preventative care for 18 months and then having them come back on with more acute health care needs, at a far higher cost, is “kicking the can down the road.”

I urge Nutting to put partisanship and ideology aside and work toward sensible and fair solutions.

Jack Comart


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