January 24

Letter to the editor: Lacking coverage, some patients in Maine are left without care

How do we physicians, psychologists, clinical social workers and other dedicated health care providers allow people in Maine to die?

1) People are being turned away (to die) from a medical office because of “wrong insurance” or “insufficient funds,” or because the procedure is not covered by insurance, the patient is no longer eligible for Medicaid or the doctor no longer accepts Medicare. (Medicare is reliable but may offer the doctor lower payments than some private insurance carriers.)

2) We see the closing down of nursing homes and nursing home services due to loss of Medicaid funding. Elderly, disabled and chronically ill patients are discharged at times to mobile homes; the overcrowded, flammable homes of relatives, or, most abjectly, to the streets.

We saw this degree of inhumanity while in Washington, D.C. Never expected to see it here.

Heidi H. Spencer, Ph.D.



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