Four years ago, the state of Maine enacted their attempt at "universal health coverage" – called Dirigo Care. Big surprise! The program hasn’t exactly lived up to its billing, as this article points out:
"Dirigo Care has cost the state’s taxpayers nearly $164 million in the four years since its inception. Although its intended purpose was to insure 128,000 people who had no health coverage, only 4 percent of that total, or just over 5,000 individuals, have been successfully removed from the rolls of the uninsured and into the state program, according to figures from the Maine Heritage Policy Center."
As is the norm for politicians everywhere, the only shortcoming is assumed to be that the program wasn’t funded at sufficient levels, so therefore:
"On April 15, Gov. John Baldacci (D) signed LD2247, An Act to Continue Maine’s Leadership in Covering the Uninsured, expanding the Dirigo Care program by $28 million annually."
A little cost-benefit analysis is in order. The program was supposed to cover 128,000 people and it ends up only enrolling 5,000 – yet the Governor thinks it needs more money? Expanding the program by nearly 70 percent even though the number actually enrolled is 1/25th the planned size? Typical government math, I guess. I can’t imagine the size of the tax hike Mainers would be facing today if the program enrolled even half of the original projections.
Let this serve as yet another warning to North Carolinians that may be seduced by the siren song coming from certain Raleigh lawmakers about state programs designed to drive us closer to "universal coverage."