Maine Needs Hardworking Health Care

Stand Up for Health Care: Vote YES on Question 2

On November 7, you can make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of Mainers by voting for health care.

The ballot question will read: “Do you want Maine to expand Medicaid to provide health care coverage for qualified adults under age 65 with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level, which in 2017 means $16,643 for a single person and $22,412 for a family of two?”

This referendum goes beyond health care to impact every Mainer: a YES vote will mean a stronger economy, a stronger work force, and a stronger future for Maine.

What is Medicaid?
  • Medicaid is a federal and state funded program
  • Medicaid provides health care coverage to people who cannot afford it – including children, pregnant women, veterans, and working adults
  • Medicaid is different from Medicare which only covers seniors 65 or older, or individuals living with a severe disability (regardless of income level)
Why Expand the Program in Maine?
  • 90 percent of the cost of Medicaid expansion would be funded by the federal government (not Maine) for newly eligible recipients
  • Medicaid expansion would help tens of thousands of Mainers get access to affordable health care
  • This will create 6000 new jobs
  • The economic benefits include $27 million in savings for Maine
  • Maine would get access to half a billion dollars in new federal funding annually

70,000 Hardworking Adults in Maine Would Benefit from Medicaid Expansion

Veterans & Family Members

Maine veterans have proudly served our country in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

The decision to expand Medicaid directly impacts Maine’s veteran population for a few reasons: Many veterans are ineligible to receive health care through Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Eligibility is based on factors including income level, time in service, and service connected disability. Medicaid expansion will also help veterans that do receive VHA coverage – many are forced to travel several hours to receive care at the main medical facility in Augusta when services are unavailable at regional clinics

On Nov. 7, vote YES on question 2 to help veterans get affordable health coverage.

Dental Assistants,
Nurses & Care Aids

Medicaid expansion will lead to job creation in the medical workforce: creating jobs for nurses, care aids, and dental hygienists across Maine. For health care workers that are employed in contract positions and illegible for health care, they will finally be able to gain access to affordable care. Mainers will also receive better treatment at health care clinics with more nurses and other employees on staff.

Sales & Retail Staff,
+ Telemarketers

5,000 hardworking Mainers in sales, retail, and telemarketing careers benefit from the proposed Medicaid expansion. These individuals are often employed in part-time or contract positions that do not qualify for health coverage. Oftentimes, they earn too high an income to qualify for Medicaid. By expanding Medicaid in Maine we can help people working in sales, retail, and telemarketing gain access to affordable health coverage. Vote YES on question 2.

Food Service Workers

You can help 5,300 Maine food service workers access affordable health care by voting YES to expand Medicaid coverage. This includes fast food workers, servers, and dishwashers who are currently ineligible for coverage. Many of these people work multiple jobs to support their families and still can’t afford to pay for marketplace coverage.

On Nov. 7, vote YES for Medicaid expansion to help food service workers.

Personal Care Workers

Many of Maine’s hairdressers, personal care aides, and child care workers do not have access to affordable health care. Lots of people work 40 hours a week and still don’t qualify for insurance.

These 1,700 hardworking Mainers need your help: vote YES to expand Maine’s Medicaid program.

Office & Admin Support

Office and admin support staff are amongst the tens of thousands of Mainers that would benefit from Medicaid expansion. Their careers include bookkeepers, contract receptionists, tellers, and customer service agents.

A vote YES for Medicaid expansion would mean that these Mainers could finally get access to the affordable health care they deserve.

Construction Workers

Construction Workers including carpenters, painters, and laborers can access affordable health care if Maine votes YES for Medicaid expansion on November 7. Currently, 3000 Mainers working in construction jobs are ineligible for the health care coverage. This needs to change.

Join the movement and vote YES Nov. 7 to help these Mainers.

Transportation Workers

2,400 transportation workers including truck drivers, movers, and hand packers need a YES vote for Medicaid expansion to qualify for affordable health care. They are currently stranded without coverage - often caught between systems where they make too high an income to qualify for Medicaid, they’re too young for Medicare, and can’t afford marketplace insurance.

Vote YES on question 2 to help Maine’s transportation workers get affordable health care.

What Would Medicaid
 Expansion Mean for Maine?

6000 New Jobs

This initiative will create thousands of good paying jobs across the state including Maine’s rural areas. A YES vote for Medicaid expansion would mean an influx of federal dollars towards Maine’s health care providers including hospitals, doctor’s offices, and pharmacists. In addition, health care facility upgrades would result in the hiring of construction workers, support staff, and skilled workers.

Hospitals, Clinics & Care for Rural Maine

By voting YES for Medicaid expansion, we can help protect rural hospitals and clinics from closures and budget cuts. Maine’s rural hospitals and clinics are already in crisis. Each year, rural hospitals spend over $30 million on uncompensated care, and hospitals such as Calais have said they will need to stop delivering babies by year-end due to financial loses. By supporting Maine’s Medicaid expansion, we can provide families in rural Maine with necessary health care access.

Health Coverage for People Caught Between Systems

A large portion of Maine’s population does not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. Many are too young for Medicare but earn too high of an income to qualify for Medicaid. For those caught in between, Medicaid expansion will provide necessary health care coverage.

A Brighter Future for Maine Families

Affordable health care is a win for Maine now and in the future. Projections are showing $27 million in savings through decreased state funded health care spending, and savings to Maine’s criminal justice system. Maine will also receive an additional half a billion dollars in federal funds every year.

Meet Mainers Who 
Need Medicaid

Hear from Mainers who need Medicaid coverage to survive

Kathleen Phelps

Kathleen Phelps

Hairdresser

Kathy works 40 hours a week as a hairdresser and suffers from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). She needs oxygen, but can’t afford her monthly oxygen supply without Medicaid expansion.

Kathleen Phelps

Kathleen Phelps of Winslow has COPD and can't afford the oxygen she needs. Question 2 will help her and 70,000 other Mainers by expanding access to Medicaid. Like and share to help Kathleen tell her story. #Yeson2

Posted by Mainers for Health Care on Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Kathleen Phelps

Winslow, Maine

Kathy is a self-employed hairdresser. From age 14 onwards, Kathy has been employed as an agricultural worker, a millworker, a waitress – and for the last 30 years: a hairdresser. Nearly a decade ago, Kathy was diagnosed with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and emphysema. Medically, she requires an oxygen tank to breathe without struggle. The cost of oxygen is $100 a month. This is a cost that Kathy can’t afford with her modest paycheck.

At age 59, Kathy won’t be able to qualify for Medicare for another 6 years. That’s 6 more years that she’ll be forced to choose between oxygen and paying her bills if there is no Medicaid expansion.

Kathy is amongst hundreds of thousands of Americans who are faced with this decision every month. On November 7, stand with Kathy and Vote YES on question 2 to expand Maine’s Medicaid program

Lynnea Hawkins

Lynnea Hawkins

Single Mother

Lynnea, mother to a 16-year-old boy, was employed as a contract government employee. Her contract didn’t allow her to qualify of health care insurance and her paycheck was too high to qualify for Medicaid.

Lynnea Hawkins

Lewiston, Maine

As a single mother to a 16-year-old boy, Lynnea puts her son’s health first, but often worries about what will happen to him if she gets sick and cannot afford health care.

“So many Mainers are living paycheck to paycheck, trying to raise a family, and facing impossible choices. Do I go to the emergency room and go into medical debt? Do I pay this premium or buy groceries or pay the rent? I should never have had to ask: do I go to the doctor or do I eat?” says Lynnea.

Lynnea was working as a government contract employee when her contract ended abruptly. Her contract didn’t allow her to qualify for health care, and her income was too high for Medicaid eligibility. Lynnea was left without options - it would have been half of her paycheck to purchase marketplace insurance.

Vote YES on Nov. 7 to expand Medicaid to help moms like Lynnea access affordable health care.

Hear from Maine
Health Care Workers

There is no other viable option for health insurance coverage for many of the individuals who will benefit from expansion. For many, it is Medicaid or nothing” – The Maine Hospital Association Board of Directors

Timothy Conmee

Timothy Conmee

Nurse

Timothy has worked as an ICU and ER nurse for 20 years. Every day he sees people receive fragmented care because they don’t have affordable health care coverage.

Timothy Conmee

Orrigton, Maine

In his 20 years of nursing experience, Tim has seen elderly people who can’t afford care, families struggling to pay expensive hospital bills, and young drug addicts unable to get the rehabilitation services they need to conquer their addictions.

“Every day I see the tough choices people have to make to ensure that they can afford medical care. People shouldn’t have to decide whether or not to have lifesaving treatments because of cost” says Tim.

If the expansion passes, hundreds of thousands of Mainers will get access to the continuous care they require. Stand with Tim and Vote YES on November 7 to expand Medicaid.

Mary Beth Gagne

Mary Beth Gagne

Nurse

Mary Beth has worked for 26 year as a Pediatric Home Care Nurse. Seeing Maine’s health coverage struggle firsthand, she knows the difference Medicaid expansion would make for all Mainers.

Mary Beth Gagne

Hingham, Maine

Mary Beth Gagne visits 5-6 homes daily to care for babies, new moms, and sick children whose illnesses include Cancer and other pre-existing medical conditions. Some children are covered under Medicare or receive government grants, however many require Medicaid to cover their expensive health care costs.

Medicaid provides coverage for 114,000 low income children across Maine. Expanding the program will help to ensure that all children in Maine have access to affordable coverage and care. On November 7, join the movement and vote YES for Medicaid expansion.

 

Jane Chandler

Jane Chandler

Nurse

Jane has worked 25 years at an Androscoggin county hospital. She frequently witnesses the health coverage gap in Maine, and encounters families of terminally ill patients go bankrupt trying to pay for treatment.

Jane Chandler

Bethel Area, Maine

Working 25 years in Maine hospitals and as a personal care aid, Jane has seen it all. She cared for a man with testicular cancer who survived, but whose family went bankrupt to pay for his care. She treated another man injured in a car accident who qualified for Medicaid coverage for his catastrophic injuries, but he was left scrambling to pay for the cost of home care nurses to dress wounds, physical therapy, and blood clot medication.

Jane also encountered a woman who had multiple part-time jobs, no health coverage, and four young kids. The woman had avoided visiting a doctor to minimize costs, which resulted in a late breast cancer diagnosis. The woman lived, but her medical bills are huge.

Stories like these need to stop. Vote YES on Nov. 7 to support Medicaid expansion.

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