Centered on the Empowered Individual
1. Make Maine's health insurance market more competitive. Maine's health insurance market continues to be less affordable and competitive not more. Many small rural states have lower cost insurance than Maine. We need to learn from them. Next door in New Hampshire many pay hundreds less per year for individual health insurance. Forty-seven states have a higher rate of lower-income adults purchasing private health insurance. Augusta has overregulated health insurance to be a costly premium out of reach for too many businesses and individuals. That's wrong and must change.
2. Stop taxing health insurance in a quest to make it more affordable. Funding expanded government programs by taxing health insurance is wrong. You don't tax something to make it more affordable. We shouldn't punish businesses and individuals who purchase private health insurance.
3. Promote wellness and support people for making smart lifestyle choices. If a physician-certified personal health plan results in a healthier individual, that person should receive a significant insurance premium discount. As Governor, I intend to promote programs such as "ScoreHealth" developed by Dr. Burgess Record of Farmington that has resulted in significantly improved personal health for thousands of Maine citizens.
4. Enact real Medicaid reform. Medicaid spending has exploded in recent years. It outpaces tax revenue growth, is unsustainable and threatens other spending priorities. The State has responded by cutting provider rates - shifting costs to those with private insurance and risking access to needed medical care for those on Medicaid. Medicaid must protect the neediest and the disabled while remaining adaptable and sustainable now and in the future. We must also give lower income people affordable private insurance options.
5. Pay our past due Medicaid bills to Maine hospitals. By next year, Maine Government will owe its hospitals over $300 million in past due Medicaid bills. We would not allow a private insurance company to not pay claims and we must not tolerate Medicaid doing the same. As Governor, I will ensure Medicaid pays its bills and fix this problem once and for all.
6. Emphasize public health issues. Many of our current health concerns need attention. Diabetes, as an example, is an ever-increasing threat for many Mainers. Educating our population about the impact and prevention of diabetes is one of our most critical public health issues. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diet all play an important role in diabetes prevention.