Community Health Options (CHO), a Lewiston-based insurance provider, has asked the Maine Bureau of Insurance for a whopping 44.9% rate increase on their catastrophic level plan.CHO is one of 23 nonprofit Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (co-ops) created under the Affordable Care Act, over half ...
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Subsidies and Cost Shifting Won’t Power Maine’s Economy

Anyone remotely familiar with Maine’s economy knows it’s at a crossroads. Between 2004 and 2014, its cumulative economic growth ranks 49 out of the 50 states, a mere 21.8 percent. Non-farm payroll employment has shrunk 1.2 percent over the same period, placing Maine’s employment growth at 48 i ...
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Your barber has to get government permission to cut hair, or risk jail time.In Maine, barbers must be at least 17 years old, have completed 10th grade or its equivalent, have finished a 1,500-hour course of instruction or a 2,500-hour apprenticeship, passed an approved examination and ...
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When thinking about ethanol, I am reminded of a song my children listened to in the 90's sang by Kermit the Frog, "It ain't easy being green." Selling corn ethanol as a fuel additive makes being green impossible, never mind not easy. The only thing "green" about the ethanol Renewable Fuel Standard ( ...
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Zoning Regulations Are Driving Up Portland Rents

Renting in Portland remains unaffordable for many of its residents. Instead of saving up money for new clothes, a new car, or a much deserved vacation, many Portlanders are trapped in situations where rent takes up the lion’s share of their paycheck, leaving them little to nothing in their pocket ...
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Minimum Wage Advocates Disregard Evidence

As The Maine Wire has repeatedly shown here, here and here, proponents of a minimum wage increase in Maine seem more concerned with soundbites than responsible public policy. The Maine People’s Alliance’s website, for example, under the heading “Why increase Maine’s minimum wage?,” states ...
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Healthcare Price Disparity report on WGME

AUGUSTA (WGME) -- A just released report from the Maine Heritage Policy Center shows considerable price variations between different hospitals in Maine for a lot common medical procedures. ...
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In the recently-released ninth edition of the Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index rankings report, Maine earned its highest all-time rank of 38. While near the bottom of the 50 states, the mark is commendable in that it is the first time Maine has escaped a ran ...
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Fuzzy Math In Push For Raising The Minimum Wage

As I watch the campaign to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour unfold, one question comes to mind: Why $12?My first thought was that the number had been arrived at through rigorous economic research. Perhaps, I told myself, they have data that shows that $12 an hour was as high as they could raise ...
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Today, the state Senate voted on a party line vote of 20-15 to pass the minority report of LD 1305.Legislative Document 1305, “An Act To Encourage Health Insurance Consumers To Comparison Shop for Health Care Procedures and Treatment,” is sponsored by Senator Rod Whittemore.If you’ve been payi ...
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