Let’s take a look at the cold, hard facts surrounding Medicaid expansion in Maine. An analysis has projected that it will cost the state taxpayers more than $800 million in the first decade, including the supposed “free” period that the fine print reveals is not free at all.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for estimating costs and in the past has been notorious for underestimating costs, has put the figure at $75 million per year.

The last time Democrats sold us on expanding medical welfare, they promised that recipients would use the emergency room less often, that hospitals would pay less charity care, and that the number of uninsured Mainers would drop dramatically. All of these things proved to be false.

President Barack Obama is promising to pay for most of it, but he also promised that we could keep our health plans and doctors if we like them.

And now I hear that half of the 70,000 people in question already can get plans for next to nothing on the federal exchange. Why are we even debating this? Maine’s budget and the taxpayers who support it have been through enough.

Tim RussellSidney