I write to encourage Mainers to vote “yes” on statewide Question 2 to expand MaineCare.

Medicaid expansion saves lives. A recent American Journal of Health Economics article by Benjamin D. Sommers supports this. His analysis estimates that a life is saved for every 239 to 316 adults who get Medicaid. MaineCare expansion would cover 70,000 to 89,500 more Mainers.

Some question the wisdom of legislation by referendum; however, MaineCare expansion has passed our Legislature multiple times. Only the governor’s veto has prevented this important health care improvement, so the referendum approach makes sense.

In the long term, expansion will save money, reducing the number of costly ER visits for the uninsured and treating opioid addiction with early intervention. Additionally, expansion will bring federal money to Maine. Mainers pay federal taxes and Maine should get its share of federal dollars. Please consider voting “yes” on MaineCare expansion this November.

Nancy Hasenfus, M.D.

Brunswick