So, let’s go shop for a car.  We walk into the car lot bubbling with expectation.  Finally, we will be able to fill that pressing need for our family.  The past year, traveling to and from work has been an adventure, to say the least, but now, we’ve saved enough capital to purchase something a little more trustworthy.

After a lengthy perusal of the lot, we approach the salesman and point out the vehicle we think is within our budget.  To our shock, the salesman informs us that customers from the State of Maine cannot purchase cars from the lot.  He directs us toward a car behind the building that has a placard in front of it marked “Car for Maine”.  The salesman explains, due to stringent regulations set forth by the State, Mainers can only purchase this model.  He flashes his Jimmy Carter grin and starts his sales pitch.

This car can go from “0” through the sound barrier in 3.2 seconds.  It is equipped with hovercraft technology personally designed by Jimmy Neutron and tested by his close friend, the late Sheen.  This car also comes standard with sensory components to keep your vehicle from hitting any deer, moose, or those pesky darting squirrels.   When we timidly ask for something that just…drives…to …work?  We are forcefully, emphatically reminded that there is but one choice for Mainers.

That, in essence, is the problem with Health Care in Maine.  There is no choice.  The Left keeps clamoring for socialized medicine and lauding its benefits.  We, in Maine, are living it.

In a conversation with Representative Pete Johnson of Greenville Maine, I was reminded that at the true core of freedom is choice.  Mr. Johnson was adamant in his belief that when companies must compete with each other to gain customers, the customer always wins.  The State of Maine allows neither of these to happen.  Companies cannot compete.  Customers cannot choose.  So, a basic solution would be to allow choice and competition.

At the urging of those I have interviewed, I have done a little experiment online.  I have done a zip code comparison between New Hampshire and Maine.  As stated last week, all that was available in the State of Maine for Health insurance was one HMO with two variations, HMO Basic and HMO Standard.  My monthly premium for a healthy non-smoking male age 41 is $1,089.37 Basic or $1,314.77 Standard.  That’s my choices…that is it…State of Maine…that is…all…  Now switch zip codes to New Hampshire….and, it’s all a whole new world.

First of all, I had twenty different plans to choose from.  After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I did the math…hmmm, twenty minus one….then, double-check with my abacus…and…yep, that’s nineteen more choices than Maine.  The basic plan starts at $154.58 per month.  Now, I know, I’m just a cave-dwelling Conservative from Atkinson, but I know what cheaper is.

Wait, there’s more, they have options within the options.  My favorite is the Maternity Leave option.  Yeah, the guys in New Hampshire can option out of maternity leave.  Who knew?!!  What a concept!!  The guys in Maine can’t.  No, all the men in Maine have to carry maternity leave.  You ask why??….. I don’t know!!!

As Chairman of Piscataquis County, I have an Executive Counsel that consists of learned men who are experienced in these things.  They have all assured me that there is enough research and evidence to support my belief that I do not need maternity leave.  Boy, am I glad!!  I’m sorry, but I was there when all three of my babies were born, I‘ve seen what my wife went through to earn maternity leave, and I DON’T WANT IT!!!

I guess the liberals are concerned that Global Warming may cause biological mutations in men changing them…or …something.   Oh brother, next Al Gore will put out a movie entitled “The Inconvenient Birth”.  Well, for now the masculine populace of Maine can sleep easy at night knowing that the Democrats, in their infinite wisdom, have insured that any future biological “curve balls” will be covered.  Aren’t you thankful our nanny State had such foresight?

Okay, back to reality.  The basic founding principle of free enterprise is the ability of the consumer to shop.  Products are tailored to attract the shopper.  Companies create a variety of products to attract customers with varied budgets and needs, so that, once again, the people not the Government decide what is best.  It is that principle that eliminates such idiocies as this mockery of the human intellect called Maine HealthCare.

Next week, we will look at bills, put forward by Republicans in the Maine House and Senate, defeated by Democrats, which could have reformed our Maine Health Care system.

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