Letter to the Editor: Insurance industry to blame
Last week, my state Rep. Lance Harvell appeared to go off the deep end. During a recent address to the Legislature (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bTIqxRMTvM), Lance wondered why should his “20-year-old son have to get a mandate for insurance that would require him to have a pap smear?” Lance went on to rail against “insurance for autistic children” and even appeared to suggest that folks in Maine that are over 46 years old “lack good health.” I won’t comment on Lance’s age and paunch, but is this guy for real?
Lance goes on to say that “one of the reasons they don’t have health insurance, the youth of this country, is because they’re having to pay for everyone else’s bad health.” Really Lance? I actually thought the reason youth consistently lacked health care is because the jobs they manage to find nowadays have no health care benefits. Even if the young employed manage to find a decent paying job, by the time they pay off a student loan, housing, and food this pretty much rules out their funding the out of control insurance industry.
Lance, your anger is misplaced. You and your political party need to calm down a bit and take a hard look at the insurance companies that you so ardently support. The Maine Republican Party thinks that government intervention and price oversight is unnecessary in a competitive market and that health insurance premiums are self-regulating. Recently, Anthem Blue Cross in Maine wanted to increase premium rates by 18.5 percent on their 12,000 individual insurance policy and have been in litigation with the state to get it. In California, Anthem Blue Cross spent $2 million lobbying their legislature and another $1.6 million on campaign contributions between 2009 and 2010. That’s not competition.
The sad truth is that the youth of Maine and even us folks over the median age of 46 want health insurance, but we are all too often priced out of it by an insurance industry that is more interested in the wellness of their shareholders.
Dennis R. Haszko