We are eight senior Bachelor of Social Work students who are writing to you in support of Maine AllCare. Social workers are trained to advocate for their clients and for social justice. This is both an issue we see for our clients and is a social justice issue, so we are speaking out to the community. Maine AllCare is collecting signatures to place a universal health care resolve on the ballot for the people of Maine to vote on. Should this be enacted, the process will begin to develop universal health care for the state of Maine.
Maine AllCare did a study in 2019 that showed that 42.3 percent of mostly insured Mainers had put off medical treatment for themselves or a family member because of the cost. A total of 52.8 percent of the study population said they had experienced a significant impact on their finances because of an unexpected medical bill. There are many benefits to taking a universal health care approach in Maine. The Maine Center for Economic Policy found that with a state model that would cover all Maine residents, the state would save $1.5 billion per year. This model would fill coverage gaps and reduce out-of-pocket costs. With a universal health care coverage plan in Maine, 80 percent of households would see an increase in income because of the money they would save on insurance and other health care costs.
Maine AllCare is in the early steps of community organization that promotes a universal, publicly funded, easily used and simpler system of health care for all Mainers. Without Maine AllCare’s proposition, the health care system would stay as it is where individuals are living in poverty and experience great financial stress because of insurance payments and medical bills. Taking action on this issue and signing Maine AllCare’s petition would mean you have taken the first step to alleviating some of the issues that Mainers face in regard to health care.
As students who will be practicing social work in a few very short weeks, we urge you to sign Maine AllCare’s petition. Maine can have universal health care and Mainers can get the health care that they need and deserve.
and other University of Maine senior BSW students