Converging positions on accepting federal money for health care

Tuesday afternoon, I attended a presentation to the Appropriations Committee by Gordon Smith, the Vice President of the Maine Medical Association about whether the state should accept the additional federal money offered by the Affordable Care Act in order to cover uninsured Mainers.

Mr. Smith gave a detailed and thoughtful presentation of the reasoning given by the 21 states which have decided to accept the money (benefits the uninsured and otherwise the money goes to other states) and the 14 states which are choosing to decline (uncertainty about dependability of future federal funding).

In short, Smith said, Maine doctors conclude that expanding coverage is both a moral imperative and a good business plan for the state.

Strikingly, the conservative Heritage Foundation agrees that expansion of coverage would benefit Maine.

From what I could read of the Appropriations Committee, most members appeared persuaded by Gordon Smith’s reasoning.

If so, in order to persuade the Governor, it’s up to the hospitals next to explain their position.