The name “town hall meeting” is not an accurate description of Gov. LePage’s recent events in Biddeford and York. It is not a forum to present or discuss ideas – it is a vehicle for the governor to only present his ideas and not engage in any meaningful dialogue or dissent.

I am extremely interested in having a conversation about his desire to cut about 20,000 people from MaineCare. I don’t see the purpose or the benefit of keeping people (mostly women) who only earn between $9,720 and $24,300 a year from obtaining health care. This means that anyone who works full time and makes less than $12 per hour will have no health insurance.

This week, a friend told me about his friend: a widowed mother with two children, working as a waitress, who couldn’t afford preventative care and didn’t qualify for insurance. When she finally visited a doctor about her stomach pain, she learned she has colon cancer and it has spread throughout her body. Her cancer is so advanced that it cannot be surgically removed. In this case, not having health insurance is a death sentence.

LePage wants to reduce our tax burden by $600 million by denying health care to working people, which would save the state only $33 million (at the same time that he’s working against raising the minimum wage for this wage group). Someone who makes $18,000 to $28,000 a year is going to save $9 to $70 a year in taxes, but lose their health care and weaken their personal security.

I think it is $33 million well spent, and I’d be happy to pay more to expand health care insurance and coverage to all Mainers. People’s lives are at stake here, and the cost to society are greater than any tax savings.

Anne Callender