Maine is facing a serious drug addiction problem. It is necessary that state legislators address solutions to increase access to treatment and recovery services, curb our rates of addiction, and increase enforcement resources. Legislators would be wise to also consider federal resources that can be leveraged to provide services for those with substance use disorders, including increasing access to health care for nearly 70,000 low income Mainers who still do not have access to affordable coverage. More than 3,000 of these Mainers live in Sagadahoc County.

Many of the Mainers who would benefit from these services are hard working families and individuals who earn too much to qualify for MaineCare and too little to qualify for subsidies through the health care exchange. Federal funding that would help to bridge that gap is one of the most cost-effective ways to provide comprehensive treatment and preventive care to those in need.

We have the opportunity to use significant federal resources to address persistent health concerns and prevent further tragedies resulting from drug addiction. Serious problems demand that we consider all possible solutions. I urge law-makers to take a clear eyed look at LD 633, “An Act To Improve the Health of Maine Citizens and the Economy of Maine by Providing Affordable market-based Coverage Options to Low-income Uninsured Citizens” and consider the benefits to us all.

Eloise Vitelli,