One of the most pressing concerns facing workers and employers alike is the ballooning costs of health insurance and prescription drugs. More and more of a family's income is consumed by these expenses, draining resources for other priorities like education, retirement savings, and home ownership. Similarly, too many employers are forced to forego hiring additional workers because of high health care costs or to stop offering health insurance altogether.
The Dirigo Health Plan signed into law by Governor Baldacci is an important first step to providing access to affordable healthcare. It will be important to build on this program to rein in health care costs by developing creative ideas and pursuing those with the greatest promise of achieving universal access to health care.