Thank you for visiting my website. As this legislative session draws to a close one decision we have to make is rather to expand medicaid by excepting federal funds. Below is a letter to the editor I recently submitted to the Sentry newspaper fully supporting excepting the federal funds.
The State of Maine has a great opportunity available that will allow more Mainers to receive access to healthcare. I strongly support accepting these Federal Funds that are currently available for Maine that will expand Medicaid coverage for low- income Mainers.
Many Mainers are finding it harder to make ends meet and provide a healthy environment for their families to live and prosper. However, some needed relief is in sight for approximately 69,500 Mainers as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has set aside federal dollars for Maine to provide Medicaid coverage to approximately 69,500 people who would be uninsured otherwise. Adults with income up to 138% FPL ($15,856/year for an individual; $26,951/year for a family of three) would be covered, starting January 1, 2014.
Full implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid option is a good deal for our state. The federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of covering newly eligible individuals in Maine for three years, through December 31, 2016. After that, the federal contribution will be adjusted gradually until it reaches the permanent rate of 90 percent in 2020, far greater than the 64-cent rate it pays for current Medicaid members.
Most working adults with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level can’t afford insurance. They have little to no discretionary income and cannot afford the out-of-pocket expenses that people in healthcare exchanges have to pay, even with available subsidies.
Since I first began my career in public service, I have believed that healthcare is a human right and not a privilege. Accepting these federal funds and providing healthcare for more people is not a partisan issue. There is already strong support from both sides of the aisle in Augusta. Many Republican leaders throughout the country have signed on to accept these federal dollars to expand healthcare coverage for more working- class citizens.