On Tuesday, Democrats presented their “Patients First” health care package at the State House.
The package aims to offer patients the much-needed stability by reducing costs and increasing accessibility for Mainers.
In the United States, Maine has the 14th highest health care cost, while nearly 70 percent of all Americans are concerned about a surprise medical bill.
Democrats presented the Patients First health care package that consists of four bills.
One pill presented by Senate President Troy Jackson will allow Maine to gain control over growing health care costs. This can be done by creating the Maine Commission on Affordable Health Care.
In 2019, a similar package in Massachusetts helped save businesses and patients approximately $7.2 billion. This year, Vermont’s commission is expected to save patients nearly $7.3 billion.
House Speaker Sara Gideon presented two bills in the proposal. The first bill would reduce out-of-pocket costs of certain medicines and the second one would protect patients from unexpected emergency medical bills.
Gideon said, “Access to affordable, quality health care is one of the biggest drivers of whether you can grow your business, or whether you can get to work, something in the blink of an eye can change your life or allow you to live life to the fullest.”
The fourth bill would help protect patients from unnecessary patient fees and abusive billing practices.
Each bill of the health care package has just been introduced in the State House.
The four bills are expected to go before the legislature’s health coverage, insurance, and financial services committee in the next couple of weeks.