AUGUSTA – In a party line vote Wednesday, the Maine House of Representatives passed L.D. 230, An Act To Establish the Commission on Health Care Cost and Quality. The bill would establish a partisan commission to develop a health improvement plan for Maine, with members to be appointed solely by the Senate President, Speaker of the House, and two legislative committees.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) testified in opposition to the bill because the measure is wasteful in its duplication of existing efforts at the DHHS Office of MaineCare Services and the Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Although there is a $46,000 estimated cost associated with the bill, the cost would likely be more than $300,000, according to DHHS.
“Republicans voted against this bill because it’s exactly the kind of wasteful government duplication that we need to be focused on cutting if we are to balance our budget,” said Rep. Deborah J. Sanderson (R-Chelsea), the top House Republican on the Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee.
“There’s also a disturbingly ideological motive behind this bill, as evidenced by the partisan nature of the proposed commission’s appointment process,” Sanderson said.
After further votes in the House and Senate, the bill will head to Governor LePage’s desk.