During my recent Florida trip, I was greeted numerous times with comments like, “You must be proud of those ladies from Maine!” In fact, I am. Sens. Snowe and Collins proved they can break partisan gridlock to deliver economic relief. Now we need them to continue working across the aisle to address our health-care needs.
Recently, President Obama released a budget proposal that carries two things we believe must be supported: a commitment to meaningful health-care reform and a down payment on that reform. No doubt there will be spending and tax disagreements between Democrats and Republicans, but that cannot stand in the way of real reform. And, we must ensure that disagreements don’t turn into stalemate.
Many of the dollars for improvements are already available: savings from the elimination of fraud, waste and abuse, and improvements in chronic care management, where good care up front can save millions down the road. Another common sense investment is the promotion of healthy behaviors and prevention. But, one of the most important actions we can take is to spread our insurance risk by ensuring that all Americans have access to affordable health-care coverage. It’s a critical area that must be addressed, and some folks are going to need a boost up to get that coverage.
Spend your dollars here Congress. We know it’s tough to agree, but please make sure you don’t forget your neighbors who need your voice to help keep our families and workers healthy.

Nelson Megna, AARP Maine

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