Maine's Senate passed a healthcare reform bill that would assess a surcharge on private insurance premium revenue to cover the state's uninsured population. The controversial bill, approved by the Senate on a 20-14 vote, was rejected by the state House yesterday 95-46. The Senate sent the bill back to the House, which could schedule another vote. Hospitals successfully lobbied against provisions that would have established a hospital rate-setting system. Instead, they agreed to voluntarily hold their consolidated operating margins to 3.5% for one year and let stand a yet-to-be-determined cap on new construction. Maryland is the only state with full-blown rate-setting in place. Maine Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, proposed the healthcare reform program and would likely sign the bill if it reaches his desk. -- by Jeff Tieman
Maine Senate passes bill to cover uninsured
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