I’m one of the thousands of Mainers who were cut from their MaineCare coverage Jan. 1. The past three months have been extremely difficult for me.

As I no longer have MaineCare, my relationship with my doctor is gone. I’ve been with this doctor for six years – he knew all of my medical concerns and what I needed to stay healthy. This has been a huge loss for me.

I have high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and pancreatitis. I also need to have surgery on my ankle from a past injury that didn’t heal correctly. But I’m not able to afford the medications or the surgery I need because I don’t have MaineCare anymore. A vial of insulin alone costs $264.

When I had MaineCare, I was able to check my blood sugar every day and was able to take insulin when I needed to. But now, because the medications and supplies cost so much, I’m only checking my blood sugar twice per week and rarely taking insulin.

I was recently in the emergency room because I ran out of insulin and my blood sugar was very high. Luckily, I was given insulin to help get my blood sugar back to normal. But there is no way I can afford the cost of the ER visit or the insulin they gave me.

The ER nurse told me to come back if this happens again. I don’t want to have to go to the emergency room all the time, but it looks like that’s the only choice I have. I feel like no longer having MaineCare is a death sentence, and that scares me. No one deserves to be put through this.

I hope the Maine Legislature does the right thing and accepts the federal money to expand MaineCare coverage.

Jeff Vane

Portland