Time to take a stand on health care

Dear Editor:

The bad news: 70,000 hard-working Mainers can’t afford health coverage. When they seek emergency room services, the rest of us pay or hospitals add debt. Maine taxpayers have sent one $1 billion to Washington that is allocated to states expanding Medicare. We add over $300 million to this outflow every year. Maine lacks resources to help our health care system meet the opioid addiction crisis. This is nuts.

The good news: Mainers can change this ugly picture by voting “Yes” this November on the Question 2 referendum to expand MaineCare. If we vote “Yes on 2,” more than $300 million in federal funds will come to Maine each year to help 70,000 folks with low-wage or seasonal jobs afford health care coverage. This federal investment will create 3,000 good health care jobs. We’ll fight the opioid epidemic. And Maine hospitals, especially in rural areas, will expand coverage and reduce debt.

A bipartisan majority of our Maine legislators have voted to enhance MaineCare with federal funds five times, only to be vetoed by Governor LePage. This November, it’s time for a Maine majority to expand health care. Vote “Yes on 2.”

Jack Russell

Mount Desert

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