I read an article in The Wall Sreet Journal about how MaineCare is a bad example of the Public option for National Health insurance. This was quite an eye opener since Maine doesn’t seem to realize that it is a bad example. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204619004574322401816501182.html . Maybe Maine doesn’t understand what the current State of Maine administration is doing. I hope that’s it!
I think part of the problem is the lack of transparency in the whole MaineCare approach. For years it has been a Baldacci driven initiative with very little disclosure or input from the developmental disability service provider community. The Baldacci administration was supposedly saving money by putting services for the developmentally disabled under one umbrella of The Maine Department Of Health and Human Services. It had previously been a separate bureau. The notion that people with developmental disabilities’ services should fall under a medical model is flawed from the get go.
I continue to ask how does universal health care relate to services for people with developmental disabilities. I have not heard one interview or read a single article that addresses the cost of providing services to people with developmental disabilities in relation to health care. If MaineCare is the State’s model for universal health care, are services for the developmentally disabled a legitimate Medicare expense? Are people with developmental disabilities all elderly and sick? I think not. Should their genuine needs be compromised by the one box fits all accounting that pervades current state governments. I hope not, because the years that were dedicated to increasing development of individuals lives over mundane maintenance will have been for nothing.
People with developmental disabilities have special needs. Most of them have nothing to do with medical model reimbursement from the Feds. The state is trying to push all the services for everybody into the MaineCare model. It’s not innovative, its just a strategy to get federal funding to support the ever growing DHHS state budget. Mainecare medical model and services for the dynamic population of ambitious citizens with developmental disabilitities is a bad match.