Commentary

Question 1 a scheme to achieve fully socialized medicine

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More and more we are seeing direct democracy take hold in our elected representative republic. We do not see this at the national level, but rather within individual states that have relatively low bars for accessing the ballot. We see out of state special interests grab hold of a system that was set in place as an emergency steam valve, if you will, when the legislature acts or doesn’t act. The ballot initiative process is not ideal and should only be used in unique circumstances. It has been used effectively for conservative causes in the past, but lately it has been totally corrupted by the left.

States like Maine have been used as social petri dishes for causes that the left would like to try out on the public. Recently we’ve seen far-left progressive causes like minimum wage hikes, ranked-choice voting and surtaxes on the “rich” pass not only here, but places like crimson red Nebraska. Once these issues pass at the ballot box, usually in an off year where turnout is low, the battle cry starts from the democratic socialist crowd (whatever that is) on a national level.

On Nov. 6, Mainers will once again be treated as political guinea pigs when we vote on an initiative for universal home care. This first-in-the-nation tax scheme is brought to you by the Maine People’s Alliance (MPA), a group renown for bringing socialist ilk to a ballot near you. Should this pass at the ballot, you better believe states will be watching Maine as we struggle to provide universal home care to the masses. At best, this program will force us to cut other programs and services like schools and economic development programs, and at worst it will bankrupt us.

Make no mistake, this is an opening salvo to a nationwide battle cry from the left for universal, single-payer health care. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at what everyone’s favorite democratic socialist, Sen. Bernie Sanders, is pushing in congress. You guessed it, Medicare For All! Bernie-backed organizations like the MPA are using us to try out their completely unworkable scheme.

So what is in this referendum that we are so lucky to have before us? Let’s take a look.

The authors of Question 1 wasted no time in making this truly universal. No matter where you reside or how much you make, you qualify for universal home care. Before conservatives took control of the legislature and Governor’s Office in 2010, Maine was well known for its lack of residency requirements when it came to government benefits. It seems like this initiative will bring us back to that old reality; hardly a place we want to go back to.

Another one of the huge problems with this referendum is the $300 million giveaway to progressive organizations. This is done by taking the new tax revenues and sending them not to the general fund, where most tax dollars go, but rather to a new unelected board of progressives that will shell out the money to where they see fit. If this initiative passes I am sure that, years down the road, we will be looking at many OPEGA investigations into misuse of funds.

The coup de grace of the Universal Home Care initiative is really quite something. If the above problems weren’t enough, might we add forced unionization to the mix? This may be completely unconstitutional, but this will not stop the MPA. You see, they are going for the whole thing here. If they can force every kindhearted Mainer that is taking care of an aging parent or a disabled child to join the union, the kickbacks will be enormous. That money will fill the coffers of union PAC’s to help get more progressives elected who will do what they ultimately want: to institute Sen. Sanders’ Medicare For All rip-off.

This is all in the legislation that Mainers will consider on Nov. 6. Behind Question 1 is a dozen pages of legalese that is not reflected in the ballot question. The truth is that Question 1 is so complex, it cannot be reduced to a single-sentence question on a ballot and be fully understood.

Question 1 is not about helping people, it is about empowering unelected bureaucrats, enriching public sector unions and moving one step closer to fully socialized medicine.

About Garrett Mason

Senator Garrett Mason is the current Senate Majority Leader. He represents District 22 which includes Durham, Greene, Leeds, Lisbon, Litchfield, Sabattus, Turner, Wales and Wayne.

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