Senator Whittemore Introduces Healthcare Savings & Transparency Bill

Contact:
Krysta West
Communications Director
Senate Republican Office
(207) 287-1505
krysta.west@legislature.maine.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUGUSTA – Senator Rodney Whittemore (R-Somerset) has again introduced legislation to encourage savings and transparency in the healthcare market by empowering consumers to shop for many healthcare services.

LD 445, “An Act To Encourage Maine Consumers to Comparison-shop for Certain Health Care Procedures and To Lower Health Care Costs,” would address the large variation in health care costs by providing an incentive for consumers to shop for the best deal and incentivizing competition in the health care market.

“Last year a report found that a certain hospital in Portland offers precancerous skin growth removal for an average of $117 when, less than a mile away, another hospital provides the same procedure for $551,” said Sen. Whittemore. “A closer look at healthcare costs in Maine reveals extreme variation in prices, representing five-fold differences for identical services at times, which can translate to a difference in cost of thousands of dollars.

“Yet, because consumers with health insurance are only responsible for their deductible, the incentive to seek out a fair price is removed from the equation and most healthcare providers have no incentive to provide a competitive service. This practice drives the cost of healthcare services up for all consumers, which translates to expensive health insurance plans with high deductibles.

“My bill seeks to reverse this trend by incentivizing consumers to shop around before committing to healthcare services. After all, we shop for the best value when it comes to buying a car or making other major purchases. It only makes sense that we should do the same when it comes to the thing that is most important: our health.”

LD 445 has been referred to the Committee on Insurance and Financial Services for consideration.

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