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.