Recently, a 33-year-old carpenter was quoted in an article about support for the expansion of MaineCare (“Medicaid expansion vote has real-life impact for low-income Mainers,” March 13). He appears to be working part time and also volunteers with a group advocating for MaineCare expansion.
While his story was probably included as an example of people who need MaineCare, it also shows that other alternatives need to be considered.
There was no reference to any handicap or affliction affecting this fellow’s ability to work, but this 33-year-old believes that the taxpayers of Maine should provide MaineCare for him, as he only earns $12,000 per year, apparently working part time.
There was no indication he has or would consider a career change when even a minimum-wage fast food job could increase his earnings by $3,000 a year and might even offer him health insurance. When he can’t find work and has “free” time, he volunteers to push for the expansion of MaineCare rather than look for carpentry work or other work to supplement his income.
Young children, the elderly and people afflicted with serious handicaps certainly deserve help, but when you start expanding that help to able-bodied young adults, you put the truly needy at risk, as there is not a limitless supply of taxpayer money available.
Maine is a poor state, with a stagnant economy, an aging population, an extremely high tax burden and billions in unfunded liabilities, and it simply can’t afford to keep expanding support services, especially to people who may be able to mitigate at least part of their own problem.
The proposed expansion of MaineCare may sound nice, but it is fiscally reckless. We have multiple cities and counties in this country that have gone bankrupt, and there is no reason to think state governments are immune to that prospect.