I was astonished to read the headline that said the Democrats want to link hospital repayment to the proposed extension of Medicaid benefits.

How does it make any sense at all to finally pay off a Medicaid debt that has totally screwed up our balance sheet for more than a decade only to promise at the same time that we’ll borrow even more than we couldn’t afford to pay for before?

We have not been able to pay the hospitals for their legitimate services to Medicaid patients from many years ago. I doubt any of the members of Maine’s Legislature would be too impressed if we told them they’ll get their paychecks a decade from now — if that Legislature feels like paying the debt.

The inability to pay for the current level of Medicaid benefits is what got us into this mess and has kept us in debt to the hospitals. It makes no sense whatsoever to say we’ll promise even more coverage than we could afford to begin with. We all know the federal government will not cover all the cost of this new benefit.

I intend to speak with my legislative representatives about this proposal, and I encourage others to do the same. This is the craziest idea I’ve heard in a long time.

We have no clue yet what Obamacare is going to add to our expenses, but the recent projections aren’t comforting. Signing up for even more seems foolhardy in the extreme.

Janet Thorp

Pittsfield

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