The Portland Press Herald recently published an Associated Press article (March 20) citing Norway as the happiest nation on earth. Why? The Norwegians believe in part it is because they have universal health care, child care and education. They think all Norwegians deserve it.

Thousands of our fellow Mainers could have gotten Medicaid if Gov. LePage would have agreed to the MaineCare expansion in Maine. Instead, LePage has done the opposite – cut thousands of Mainers off MaineCare.

The same goes for our fellow Americans. If the Republicans in Congress shrink Medicaid nationwide, other states will suffer the same fate. Many more will lose their health care. Mainers and Americans deserve more care, not less!

In my 18 years as a mental health professional, I have seen what Maine-Care can do. MaineCare doesn’t just treat your diabetes or mend a broken limb; it can also help mend hearts, homes and minds. MaineCare helps elders stay in their homes. MaineCare helps the homeless find homes. MaineCare helps the lonely find company. MaineCare helps to heal families. MaineCare helps to heal addiction. MaineCare helps. Period.

Let’s vote “yes” in November’s referendum to expand Medicaid for Maine. Maine deserves better. We deserve to be just as happy as the Norwegians. Expanding MaineCare is a step towards expanding our state of happiness.

Meghan Walsh, LCSW