At a time when the nation’s uninsured population has risen at the highest rate in our history Maine’s uninsured numbers have dropped. It is no coincidence: Dirigo health is to thank. By providing access to affordable, comprehensive health care, Dirigo can boast of insuring more than 10,000 Mainers who would otherwise be underinsured or not insured at all. This increase in the insured population has saved more than $40 million dollars in Maine since Dirigo began.
The assertion made by Dirigo’s opponents that the program will be a financial burden to Mainers is simply false. The truth is that the Dirigo health plan is leading the way in addressing the skyrocketing price of healthcare in our state and in our country.
The infamous “Dirigo tax” is nothing more than Anthem Blue Cross looking to use Dirigo to make record profits without honoring their agreement to return recoverable savings to the program and, at the same time, increasing premiums. In other words, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is dishonestly attempting to triple dip into the pockets of the Maine people.
Opponents of Dirigo health want us to believe that the reason healthcare is so expensive in the state is that our consumer protection laws have driven out the competition. The truth is that while removing these laws may bring other providers to the state, this would have a negligible effect on the price we pay for insurance and we would lose the valuable protection these laws demand.
Dirigo health is the only viable plan to reduce the cost of health care in Maine and we would be foolish to let it slip through our fingers because of partisan election-year politics.