Maine has the highest enrollment in Medicaid than any other state in the country and yet they limit competition. Currently, 23 percent of the state is on medicaid. The Maine House of Representatives voted down LD 290, a bill that would have allowed Mainers to buy out-of-state healthcare. Currently there are two healthcare providers in Maine, a piece of legislation such as this one would open up the door for Mainers to find other options for healthcare in the region.
Government run healthcare is a failure in Maine. The legislature worked to pass a tax increase on alcohol, sugary drinks, and health insurance claims last year to in order to fund the Dirigo Health Plan. The taxes passed and were signed into law by the Governor. A system such as Maine’s that stifles competition also incentivizes individuals to move toward a taxpayer funded healthcare system. Check out testimony from our friend Tarren Bragdon at the Maine Heritage Policy Center. Rather than pushing people toward state run health systems, legislatures need to expand competition, LD 290 would have been a step in the right direction.