And that proposal relies on a set of tobacco tax hikes.
The measure would repeal a controversial savings offset payment that targets insurers and replace it with a health access surcharge of 1.8% on paid claims.
The bill also would increase the tax on cigarettes from$2.00to $2.50 a pack and adjust levies on other tobacco products.
Advocates say the Act to Continue Maine’s Leadership in Covering the Uninsured could allow the Dirigo program to reopen enrollment and also make coverage in the individual market more affordable.
Senate Minority Leader Carol Weston of Montville is one of many Republicans who criticize the Dirigo program as too costly and who favor a more purely market-oriented approach to making health insurance more affordable. Weston says market reform should be decoupled from Dirigo funding.