Baldacci Health Care Reform Proposal Hearing Set for Thursday
The Legislature's newly-created Joint Select Committee on Health Care Reform will hold a public hearing on the two bills expected to make up the Governor's health care reform proposal on Thursday, May 15th at 1:00 p.m. The hearing will take place in Room 126 of the State House.
Since the Govenor presented his plan this past Monday, the media has carried a number of stories about the plan and reactions to it. The 72 page plan addresses access, quality and cost in a series of wide-ranging provisions that will be considered by the Legislature this month. While Republican legislatoros have suggested slowing down the process of consideration of the proposal, Democratic leaders and the Governor himself appear very focused on the need to pass the bills this session. The session must adjourn by mid-June and is likely to adjourn even sooner.
Based upon the MMA's intitial review of the proposal, the Association probably can support portions of the plan, but we have serious concerns about the global budget and Certificate of Need provisions. In addition, we need much more feedback from members on the requirement of electronic billing to all payors by 2005 and the posting of fees in the office.
Members of the MMA Executive and Legislative Committees will meet this Tuesday (5/13) at 6:00 p.m. at the MMA office in Manchester to finalize the Association's position on the proposal and to prepare for the public hearing on Thursday. ANY MMA MEMBER IS WELCOME TO ATTEND THIS MEETING. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN US, PLEASE E-MAIL CHARYL SMITH AT CSMITH@MAINEMED.COM OR CALL HER AT 622-3374.
On Tuesday, the Legislature created the Joint Select Committee on Health Care Reform to handle the review of the Governor's proposal. The Committee includes members from the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services, the Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Financial Affairs, and the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs. The committee members are as follows;
Sen. Lloyd P. LaFountain (D-York)
Sen. Michael Brennan (D-Cumerland), Senate Chair
Sen. Karl Turner (R-Cumberland)
Sen. Arthur Mayo (R-Sagadahoc)
Rep. William Earle (D-Damariscotta)
Rep. Anne Perry (D-Calais)
Rep. Christopher O'Neil (D-Saco), House Chair
Rep. Thomas Kane ((D-Saco)
Rep. RIchard Mailhout (D-Lewiston)
Rep. Benjamin Dudley (D-Portland)
Rep. Marilyn Canavan (D-Waterville)
Rep. Florence Young (R-Limestone)
Rep. Sawin Millett (R-Waterford)
Rep. Kevin Gynn (R-South Portland)
Rep. Thomas Shields, M.D. (R-Auburn)
Following the public hearing on Thursday, the Committee has announced work sessions on the bills for Tuesday through Thursday of the week of May 19th.
An overview and a detailed summary of the Governor's proposal is available on the Governor's web site at http://www.state.me.us/governor/baldacci/healthpolicy/index.html. Members may also receive additional materials on the plan by communicating with Gordon Smith or Andrew MacLean at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com respectively.