The column below by Senator Rod Whittemore appeared in the Morning Sentinel.
By Senator Rod Whittemore
Every day the news seems to get worse for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
went online. National media outlets reported that nationwide, fewer than 50,000 people were able to sign up in the month of October, when enrollment began. Months into the launch, enrollment numbers here in Maine and across the country remain dismal.
Then came the broken promises. When President Barack Obama was on the campaign trail making stump speeches for the ACA, he said repeatedly, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” Since the Obamacare rollout, however, millions of Americans have received notifications from their insurance companies that their coverage is being dropped.
Many of these people are being sent to the ACA exchanges, where they’re discovering that they will have to pay much higher premiums than they were paying before for services that are mandated by the law but that they don’t necessarily want or need.
State Senator Says his Legislation Would Have Prevented MaineCare Rides Problems
AUGUSTA – State Senator Ron Collins (R-York) says the current problems the state is experiencing with its MaineCare transportation system could have been avoided if a legislative committee had approved a bill he submitted during the last legislative session.
Senator Collins was the sponsor of LD 710 “Resolve, Requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to Adopt an Alternative MaineCare Nonemergency Transportation System to the Current Risk-based Prepaid Ambulatory Health Plan.” In essence, the bill would have allowed Maine to adopt a system in which the state contracted with local transportation providers to handle non-emergency rides for MaineCare recipients instead of hiring out-of-state companies to provide regional coverage.
Governor Welcomes Blue Ribbon Commission Report on Unemployment System
Recommends improvements to system, including need to ensure appropriate weighting of business records in appeals
AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage is pleased with the final report of The Unemployment Reform Blue Ribbon Commission, which was delivered this week. An Executive Order signed by the Governor in May established the Commission and tasked it with reviewing various complaints and concerns raised by Maine citizens about the consistency and objectivity of the unemployment insurance system.
On Monday, Dec. 9, the commission’s co-chairs, former Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Court Daniel Wathen and Hon. George M. Jabar, II, Commissioner for Kennebec County and practicing attorney in Waterville, met with the Governor and Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette to review their findings and recommendations.
“I am pleased with the thoroughness and seriousness with which the Blue Ribbon Commission undertook their review of Maine’s Unemployment System,” said Governor LePage. “It confirmed several of my concerns surrounding payments to people who are later found ineligible to receive benefits, problems associated with delayed receipt of benefits, lack of effective communication necessary to standardize decision-making, and inconsistent application of evidence standards relating to business records. These are serious flaws in the system.”
Senator Ron Collins Says Conference Helps Pave Way for Future Transportation Needs
AUGUSTA – State Senator Ron Collins (R-York) says a transportation conference being held in Augusta provides Maine lawmakers with an opportunity to get new insights into solving transportation needs.
Senator Collins, who serves on the Maine Legislature’s Transportation Committee, was among other legislators attending today’s “Transportation Trends for the Future” conference at the Augusta Civic Center. The event features transportation organizations, safety and advocacy groups, design consultants, and product distributors who provide attendees_ with information on new products and practices available to them.