Every day, I work with resourceful health care professionals who serve people who are homeless, refugees, immigrants and others who cannot pay for their health care. Most of the patients we see have complex medical conditions made worse by their lack of health care.

These are the people who have been directly affected by Gov. Le-Page’s unwillingness to extend health care benefits to people who live in poverty and are unable to buy health insurance.

If I met the governor, I’d ask him, why, as someone who has identified himself as coming from poverty and a traumatic early childhood, would he deny access to basic health care to others who share the same challenges he did?

Many of the referrals to specialists that we make are denied because our patients are no longer insured under MaineCare. One thing I observe when working with the patients who come to the health center is how many of them want to work and contribute to their community but can’t, due to their health conditions.

Years ago, I worked for what was then the state Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services and had to appear a number of times before a committee chaired by Mike Michaud.

Although he was in a position of authority, I was struck by the level of humility and compassion that he displayed with the public and with those of us who worked for the state to provide services to Maine people. He always listened, he knew his facts and he knew a lot about state government and how it worked.

This election is important to the people I work with every day at our health center. It is because of this that I am enthusiastically and passionately supporting Mike Michaud for governor. From experience, I know he’ll be a governor for everyone.

Pete O’Donnell

family nurse practitioner

Cumberland