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Thousands of Maine Residents Could Lose Private Insurance, Study Shows

WASHINGTON, July 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An estimated 523,400 residents in Maine could lose their private, employer-based coverage if Congress passes a House health reform bill, according to state-specific analysis of The American Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 released this week by The Heritage Foundation.

Heritage commissioned The Lewin Group, a highly respected health care policy and management consulting firm, to examine the impact a newly created government-run health plan within the House bill would have on Americans with private health insurance, including employer-based coverage, as well as its impact on Maine's doctors and hospitals.

In addition to examining the national impact, Lewin analyzed several states including Maine to show how the major regions of the United States would be affected. Lewin's estimates assume that all Maine employers become eligible for enrollment in the new public plan and health insurance exchange starting in the third year of implementation.

Of the estimated 731,700 Maine residents with private health insurance, 72 percent would transition out of private coverage, Lewin reports. Plus, 78 percent of the state's population who get their private insurance from the workplace could have their existing coverage change or disappear under the House health bill.

"The data highlights the nasty, unintended consequences a government-run health insurance plan could have on states," said Heritage Vice President Stuart Butler. "Many employees will be pushed into a public plan as employers respond to the legislation's incentives to drop coverage."

Another key finding from Lewin:

  • 32 percent of Maine's uninsured population would still lack coverage. Of the estimated 129,600 people without health coverage, the legislation would only reduce the uninsured by 87,700, leaving 41,900 Maine residents without coverage.

Read the entire study and find more health reform information at Heritage's new Web site

SOURCE The Heritage Foundation
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