Maine advocates push for single-payer care system

4:52 PM, Jan 9, 2014   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Maine advocates are renewing their effort to implement a fully government-funded health care program in the state.

Lawmakers are beginning to consider a bill from Democratic Rep. Charlie Priest of Brunswick that aims to create a single-payer health care system in Maine by 2017, based on a similar program Vermont hopes to implement.

The Department of Insurance and Financial Services took up the measure Thursday.

Supporters say the Affordable Care Act doesn't go far enough to ensure that all Mainers have coverage. They say it would be paid for through taxes and would actually save the state money down the line.

But Dan Bernier of the Maine Insurance Agents Association says government should focus its limited resources on the poor, elderly and disabled instead of those who can afford coverage.

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