I am one of the 70,000. I need our state to expand health care coverage options by increasing access to MaineCare.

MaineCare has been an essential part of my life for most of my life. I am now 24 years old without full coverage, I cannot afford asthma medicine, I wear prescription eye glasses, I haven’t seen a dentist in 6 years. I am working and going to school.

I know that, especially as a woman, I am not alone in this predicament. A woman in Maine is more than 2.6 times more likely than a man to be working in a low wage job, which is unlikely to provide health insurance.

Having MaineCare would mean that I can continue to afford a doctor that knows me and my history, it would mean that I have one less thing to worry about as I figure out how to budget enough money to put myself through school, maintain my housing, and afford meals all in the same month. It would mean that I am able to see a practitioners I trust as I continue to be resourceful, smart, and working to get my life together.

I am not just asking for help and sitting around taking advantage of the system. Whatever reason the governor has to veto this bill and deny me health care is unjust. With access to MaineCare, I’d be a healthier member of society, who fully thrives and achieves my goals of becoming a nurse in the next 3 years.

Tanya Iron Lima

Portland