An Act To Create a Single-payer Health Care Program in Maine
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA c. 167 is enacted to read:
MAINE SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE PROGRAM
§ 2041. Establishment
The Maine Single-payer Health Care Program, referred to in this chapter as "the program," is established to provide for the health care of residents of this State. The program must be designed in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and may not be implemented before January 2022 as provided in this chapter.
§ 2042. Design of program
(1) Hospital services;
(2) Medical and other professional services furnished by participating providers;
(3) Laboratory tests and imaging procedures;
(4) Home health care for residents of the State requiring services performed by or under the supervision of professional or technical personnel, including, but not limited to, home health care for acute illness, personal care attendant services and the medical component of home health care for chronic illness;
(5) Rehabilitative services for residents of the State receiving therapeutic care;
(6) Prescription drugs and devices;
(7) Mental health services;
(8) Substance use disorder treatment;
(9) Primary and acute dental services;
(10) Vision appliances, including lenses, frames and contact lenses;
(11) Medical supplies, durable medical equipment and selected assistive devices; and
(12) Hospice care;
§ 2043. Implementation
For the purposes of this section, "federal poverty level" means that measure defined by the federal Department of Health and Human Services and updated annually in the Federal Register under authority of 42 United States Code, Section 9902(2).
Sec. 2. Single-payer Implementation Task Force. The Single-payer Implementation Task Force, referred to in this section as "the task force," is established to oversee planning and implementation of the Maine Single-payer Health Care Program, established in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, chapter 167, as follows.
1. Appointments; composition. The task force consists of members appointed as follows:
2. Consultants. The chairs of the task force may appoint the following persons as consultants to the task force:
3. Chairs. The first-named Senator is the Senate chair of the task force, and the first-named member of the House of Representatives is the House chair of the task force. The chairs may invite individuals with expertise in health care policy, health care financing or health care delivery to assist the task force.
4. Appointments; convening. All appointments must be made no later than 30 days following the effective date of this Act. The appointing authorities shall notify the Executive Director of the Legislative Council once all appointments have been made. When the appointment of all members has been completed, the chairs of the task force shall call and convene the first meeting of the task force. If 30 days or more after the effective date of this Act a majority of but not all appointments have been made, the chairs may request authority and the Legislative Council may grant authority for the task force to meet and conduct its business.
5. Recommendations. The task force shall submit recommended legislation by January 15, 2021 to the First Regular Session of the 130th Legislature to fully implement the Maine Single-payer Health Care Program. The task force shall include in its recommended legislation provisions to:
6. Oversight of planning. At every meeting of the task force, the Commissioner of Health and Human Services, the Commissioner of Labor and the Superintendent of Insurance or their designees shall brief the task force on planning issues, progress, challenges and the timeline for implementation.
7. Compensation. The legislative members of the task force are entitled to receive the legislative per diem, as defined in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 3, section 2, and reimbursement for travel and other necessary expenses related to their attendance at authorized meetings of the task force. Those persons appointed as consultants not otherwise compensated by their employers or other entities that they represent are entitled to receive reimbursement of necessary expenses and, upon a demonstration of financial hardship, a per diem equal to the legislative per diem for their attendance at authorized meetings of the task force.
8. Quorum. A quorum is a majority of the members of the task force.
9. Staffing. The Legislative Council shall provide staff support for the task force. To the extent needed when the Legislature is in session, the Legislative Council may contract for such staff support if sufficient funding is available.
10. Experts; additional staff assistance. The task force may solicit the services of one or more outside experts to assist the task force to the extent resources are available. Upon request, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Insurance and the Department of Labor shall provide any additional staffing assistance to the task force to ensure the task force has the information necessary to make the recommendations required by subsection 5.
Sec. 3. Contingent effective date. The Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, section 2043, subsections 2, 3 and 4 take effect only upon the enactment into law of legislation providing financing for the Maine Single-payer Health Care Program established in Title 5, chapter 167.
This bill establishes a single-payer health care program in the State that provides health care services for Maine residents. The bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services to consult with the Department of Labor and the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Insurance to develop the program. The bill requires the State to implement the program in 3 phases, based on income, beginning in 2022 for those residents not eligible for the MaineCare program. The bill also creates the Single-payer Implementation Task Force to advise the departments and make recommendations to fully implement the single-payer health care program. The program may not be implemented in 2022 without prior legislative approval.