Maine’s “Public Option” Still in the Red

DECEMBER 11, 2009

Heed the warning, folks.

Lawmakers also received sobering news from administrators of the state’s Dirigo health insurance program.

Earlier this year, lawmakers extended Dirigo Health a $25 million loan to help cover costs while the program worked toward self-sufficiency. Karynlee Harrington, executive director at Dirigo Health, told the committee Thursday that the program does not expect to be able to pay back the full $25 million by June 30, as required.

“We are making progress. We have a positive cash balance,” Harrington said. While the program expects to be self-sufficient sometime in fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1, it will not likely happen before then, she said.

2011? Just over a year? Sounds great, until you consider that the program was supposed to be paying for itself a long time ago. Read this report from the Maine Heritage Policy Center (pdf) for a thorough examination of just how badly Maine’s attempt at a health care public option has failed.

The rest is here.

Comments are closed.