Health care remains a chief concern among employers as a significant cost of doing business and a driver of public-sector costs.  To that end, the Chamber supports:
  •  Continued implementation of federal healthcare reform legislation means Maine should take proactive steps to maximize support for the following: aid to small businesses and their employees to obtain affordable coverage;  the development of modern healthcare information systems; and the development of healthcare delivery models such as accountable care organizations that could reduce the cost of providing care to Maine’s citizens.
  •  At the federal level, there should be close monitoring of unintended consequences and perverse incentives that may arise with implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and corrective legislation should be pursued accordingly.
  • At the state level, the Chamber urges there be close monitoring of recently enacted insurance reforms to make sure they are working as intended.  The Maine Bureau of Insurance should also encourage private insurers to create products that align with the accountable care organization model.
  • Maine should continue to resolve the MaineCare hospital debt as a funding priority, addressing more than $450million in past due MaineCare payments over the past four years.
  • The Healthy Maine Partnerships are vital to Maine’s public health infrastructure and should be integrated with local schools, business wellness initiatives and local primary care providers. Restoring recent cuts to these programs should be a funding priority in 2013.
  • Efforts to sustain the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Hospital including new uses for the facility to strengthen the overall financial performance of facility critical to the care of people in our region who are experiencing serious and persistent mental illness.