ME Sen. Rodney Whittemore (R-Somerset) on LD 1487: Expansion a “Malignant Cancer of Dependency”
UPDATE: Here is the video clip of Sen. Rodney Whittemore (R-Somerset) opposing LD 1487.
Senator Rodney Whittemore (R-Somerset) on LD 1487, “An Act To Implement Managed Care in the MaineCare Program”, gave a rather provocative floor speech yesterday, in which he compared the proposed bill sponsored by fellow GOP Senators Assistant Majority leader Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) and Tom Saviello (R-Franklin) to a “road of hopelessness” and a “malignant cancer of dependency”.
Here is an audio link to his testimony and transcription.
I rise today in opposition to the motion and I promise to be brief.
I’m sure everyone in this chamber wants assurance that those who need and want medical care receive it.
The truth is, most of them do now.
There are two major problems with expanding Medicaid.
First, based on the experience of the last expansion in 2001, which created a debt of more than a half a billion dollars to our hospitals, common sense indicates that to do this again would be critically irresponsible. We must instead continue to work with the Department of Health and Human Services to find more efficient and less expensive ways in providing healthcare to those folks who need it most.
Second, to expand Medicaid under the federal rules would inflict a malignant cancer of dependency on thousands of Mainers, who could otherwise provide for themselves through the exchange or private insurance. In too many cases, this dependency erodes self esteem, discourages responsibility and motivation, creates a feeling of entitlement, and is a road to hopelessness.
We can all agree that there are those who need help with their medical care cost. Many of those folks are on a waiting list, and some are receiving care already. A continued effort to find affordable and more efficient ways to provide care such as prevention, managed care, walk-in clinics, home care and others, would be a wiser choice.
We must not be tempted again to expand Medicaid, which will inevitably take us down that road of hopelessness and financial self destruction.
Thank you, Mr. President.