VOTE FOR HEALTH COVERAGE FOR 70,000 LOW-INCOME MAINERS
On Tuesday, November 7th, vote YES on QUESTION 2 to expand Medicaid to provide health insurance for 70,000 low-income Mainers who presently lack coverage. This referendum measure will enable individual Mainers earning less than $16,643 and a family of two with income below $22,412 to access preventitive care and treatment instead of having to wait until very sick to go to the emergency room. The Maine Legislature has voted 5 times to accept $500 million a year in federal funds available to expand MaineCare (this state’s Medicaid program). Governor Lepage and a minority of legislators have repeatedly blocked this legislation, costing Maine about $1.2 billion. Volunteers gathered 61,000 signatures from York to Aroostook to put Question 2 on the ballot this Tuesday.
MEDICAID EXPANSION IS GOOD FOR MAINE’S ECONOMY
$500 million a year in federal funds for expanded health care in Maine will flow throughout Maine to clinics, doctor’s offices, hospitals and other healthcare providers supporting an estimated 4,000 health sector jobs, according to a favorable Portland Press Herald editorial. YES on QUESTION 2 will improve access to treatment for otherwise uninsured Mainers struggling with addiction. Mainers for Health Care estimates saving over $27 milliion in state funded health care spending. The Bangor Daily News asserts Maine is this nation’s most rural state and the 31 states that have already expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) obtained an disproportionately positive effect with an 11% drop in uninsured rates in small and rural communities. Maine Equal Justice Partners urges Medicaid Expansion will keep down the premiums for private health insurance because hospitals will avoid about $217 million in uncompensated or “charity” care costs otherwise shifted onto everybody else’s health care and insurance bills. Fewer sick or injured Mainers will face the choice between hunger and eviction or seeing the doctor after Medicaid Expansion, which will also cut bankruptcies due to huge hospital bills for needed uninsured care. The Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network (MUUSAN) advises Medicaid Expansion is all about compassion, equity and human dignity in the form of prevention, better health, addiction treatment and less financial stress for an estimated 70,000 Maine citizens.
TAX DAY RALLIES – APRIL 15 – Noon to 4 PM – downtown Portland
President Trump: Release Your Taxes Rally
noon to 2 pm, Portland City Hall, 389 Congress St.
March Forth, an organization formed by a group of women who attended the Women’s March in Washington the day after the Inauguration, is hosting a Tax Day Rally at Portland City Hall at noon on April 15. This rally will include a demand to President Trump to release his taxes so that the public will know his potential conflicts of interest and if he has financial ties with Russian President Putin and other Russian officials. The rally will also be about holding the Trump and LePage administrations accountable for their tax and economic policies. Tax Day rallies are taking place throughout Maine and the country. At 2 pm, walk next door for food, talk and sending postcards to the White House, Congress and Augusta about fair taxation and govenrment budgets by and for people at the Rally 4 Justice “Stamp Out Tax Injustice” event at First Parish U.U. at 425 Congress Street.
PEOPLE’S FORUM ON HEALTH CARE Monday March 27 6-8 PM
First Parish U.U. Meeting House 425 Congress St. Portland
The Southern Maine Workers’ Center, Maine AllCare and the Maine State Nurses Association will hold a People’s Forum on Health Care to hear voices of Mainers impacted by the health care crisis. The forum will be attended by Maine State legislators, including senator Ben Chipman and representatives Rachel Talbot Ross and Ben Collings.
The Maine Health Care is a Human Right Coalition advocates for universal, publicly funded health care. The flawed Affordable Care Act left too many people without access to care, and prioritized insurance company profits. But efforts in Washington to dismantle the Affordable Care Act will leave millions more without access to health insurance. In Augusta, Governor Lepage has proposed a state budget that will eliminate 20,000 additional peoplefrom MaineCare. President Trump is pushing austerity legislation in Congress far worse than the ACA.
“The Republican bill will be a disaster. 24 million peoplewill lose health care coverage, particularly rural and elderly people, which will hit Maine hard. This bill amounts to a massive transfer of wealth to the richest people in the world, and it will cause unnecessary death and hardship.” Peggy Marchand – SMWC member speaking at 3/27 Forum
The People’s Forum on Health Care will feature testimony from folks directly impacted by the health care crisis and urge the solution of universal, publicly funded care.
“For the last four years, we’ve been talking to people all across the state, and 94% of the people we surveyed believe healthcare is a human right. 80% percent support the idea of a universal, publicly funded health care system. It’s time politicians fight for what the people want.” Ronald Flannery SMWC/HCHR Organizer
For more information, contact Angus Ferguson firstname.lastname@example.org 207 749-6618 or Ronald Flannery email@example.com
Join in forming a RALLY 4 JUSTICE coalition for broad progressive change to organize and mobilize opposition to hate, racism, sexism, fake news and government and economy by and for wealthy people and corporations, who unjustly profit off of the vast majority, eroding our vital democracy. Experience the joy of creating powerful solutions together. Please tell friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.
RALLLY 4 JUSTICE is based in the historic First Parish Unitarian-Universalist Meeting Hall at 425 Congress St. in Portland, Maine, where in 1832 radical Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison stood in the pulpit and called for emancipation of slaves in the United States with full citizenship and no compensation to slave owners.
Together let’s roll up our sleeves and mobilize for justice, equality and democracy, civil liberties, environmental and economic justice, criminal justice reform, health care as a human right, voting rights, equal rights for women, immigrants, the working class, people in poverty and LGBTQ members of our community, plus quality, free, public education from pre-school through college and waging peace in a troubled world.
Come to the next RALLY 4 JUSTICE on Saturday, February 25, 2017 in the First Parish UU Meeting Hall 425 Congress St. Portland, Maine. Like us on Facebook @rally4justice.me/ .
Initiated by members of First Parish Unitarian-Universalist in Portland, Maine, RALLY 4 JUSTICE is intended as a mobilization – working for social justice and opposing hate, racism, sexism, economic inequality and government by and for the wealthy few and big corporations – at the local, state and federal levels. Held in the historic First Parish UU Meeting Hall at 425 Congress St. in Portland, the first RALLY 4 JUSTICE on January 21, 2017 featured speakers including Ethan Strimling, Portland’s Mayor, State Representative Mike Sylvester and Drew Gattine and State Senator Shenna Bellows. Lisa Scali (ILAP), Tom Cox (VLP), Ron Flannery (SMWC), Laura Dorle (Enviro. ME.) Anthony Moffa (Maine Law School), Joby Thoyalil (EJP) respectively addressed immigrant rights, the foreclosure crisis, healthcare as a human rights, environmental protection, immigrant and poverty issues in the Maine Legislature. Economist Mariane Hill PHD and USM Economics Professor Michael Hillard were keynote speakers on the grave and growing problem of economic inequality in the U.S. Zach Heiden, ACLU of ME Legal Director, spoke on facing threats to civil liberties and the Maine and U.S. Constutions in the wake of the 2016 elections. Sue Inches provided a postive vision of grassroots organizing in reaction to the Trump presidency.
An estimated 225 people attended the first RALLY 4 JUSTICE at First Parish U.U. on January 21st – an audience dwarfed by the 10,000 Women Walkers along Congress Street earlier the day after Trump’s Inauguration. 191 attendees provided their names and email addresses and 16 folk submitted more detailed RALLY 4 JUSTICE volunteer applications. Here is a sample of the comments written on the volunteer applications, which asked about “Issues important to you?”:
“Race, Women’s Rights – Inspiring program!”;
“LGBTQ, Healthcare, Muslim community, Interfaith, Planned Parenthood”;
“economic justice, immigrant and refugee issues – good speakers”
“List too long…EQUALITY, WORLD PEACE, DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH – Yay!!;
“HEALTH INS FOR ALL (single payer) & HOW to ADDRESS TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT, which will continue to increase. Thanks!”;
“ENVIRONMENT/ PREVENTIVE HEALTHCARE – great program, speakers and music, inspirational + informative, Thank you.”;
“Climate, food sustainability, equal justice, mental health…love, love, love the music!!!”;
“Poverty, Immigrants. Health – great – too long but good”:
“healthcare, income equality, children’s rights – excellent speakers – just a bit long but VERY glad I come + brought 3 others!”;
“All of the issues addressed today – Inequality – the 1% vs Poverty, Hunger, Housing, Immigrants – Support Community, Stay informed, Support Organizations… Congratulations, Well-planned, organized. Thank you!”;
“Healthcare, climate – LOVED it – I’m great at making calls, would love emails/ texts of weekly calling needed [re] recent legislative issues in Maine/D.C.”;
“Environment, immigrants – THANK YOU”;
“Environmental Protection (non-fossil fuel alternatives, solar etc. – EXCELLENT PROGRAM!, POSTIVE TONE, ENCOURAGEMENT TO PARTICIPATE”.
A second RALLY 4 JUSTICE is set for Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 12:30- 3pm again in the historic First Parish U.U. Meeting Hall at 425 Congress St. in Portland, Maine, where in 1832 radical Abolitionist William Llyod Garrison called for emancipation of slaves throughout the United States with full citizenship and no compensation to slave owners.