Somewhere in Maine today, a young adult, juggling part-time work and school, may be spending the day in an emergency room grounded by an asthma attack because he couldn’t afford his medication. A middle-aged person who delayed seeing a doctor because she had no health coverage may have learned she has lung cancer – and no way to pay for her treatment.

If Maine accepts available federal funds to expand MaineCare, people like these – adults with incomes below the poverty level – will have coverage.

On Wednesday, the Legislature will hold a hearing on L.D. 1578, a bill that would ensure low-income Mainers have access to MaineCare coverage.

The bill, like the one passed and vetoed last year, will be subject to an onslaught of criticism and support. But through all the rhetoric, one fact remains – those with the lowest incomes in Maine will have no health coverage unless Maine acts.

The American Lung Association of the Northeast supports L.D. 1578 because it will ensure access to essential care for low-income Mainers across the state who suffer from lung disease. We urge the Legislature to support this important measure for the health of all Mainers.

Trish Riley

Maine Leadership Board, American Lung Association of New England

Brunswick