House Democratic Office
August 27, 2011
Contact: Jodi Quintero [Cain], 287-1488, c. 841-6279
Democratic Radio Address –
Expect major changes to your health insurance cost
Good morning, I’m House Democratic Leader Emily Cain from Orono.
Thank you for tuning in.
With the summer winding down, many of the laws we passed this year will be going into effect in September. You may begin to feel the impact of those laws very soon. One of those laws is the major health insurance overhaul Republicans pushed through the Legislature a few months ago.
We are already seeing the negative impacts of this health insurance overhaul. The Ellsworth American reported last week that small businesses in rural Maine will be seeing their health insurance costs go up more than sixty percent as early as October.
local newspaper reported that small businesses in
The paper reported that premium hikes like these will put the companies at their breaking points.
Democrats in the Legislature opposed this law for many
reasons, but most of all for this dangerous impact. We feared it would drive up costs for
small businesses in rural
When the law was debated in the Legislature,
Republicans would not give the state Bureau of Insurance time to provide an
updated analysis of its impact. However, an analysis of a similar proposal from
2007 showed the measure could cause health care rates in rural
Now, we see the reality may be even worse than the initial estimates.
Governor LePage and Republicans in the Legislature recklessly rushed this bill into law with no data to back up the merits of the plan.
The overhaul will allow insurance companies selling individual policies to set rates based on age at up to five times higher than the lowest rate. And, most troubling, there will be no limits on rate changes depending on where you live, or what kind of job you have.
The bill also creates a reinsurance pool controlled almost completely by insurance companies that will be paid for with a new tax on every insurance holder.
In addition to making health care more expensive for rural Mainers, the law repeals rules that limit how far an insurance company can ask policyholders to travel to get care in network. It will now be more expensive for people living in rural communities to visit their local doctor.
While younger Mainers living in the south will see
lower costs from the Republican plan, the people who need health insurance the
most, and can least afford it, in our state will suffer. That’s not the
The law is especially bad for a state in which more than 70 percent of our businesses are small.
Democrats believe working to lower the cost
of health care for
Thank you for listening. I’m Rep. Emily Cain from Orono.