As health care coverage in the United States continues to receive incessant threats, it is time to take a stand.

Eleven percent of American adults are uninsured, according to Gallup and Healthways, and the House Republicans’ American Health Care Act and the Senate Republicans’ Better Care Reconciliation Act would obliterate the possibility of reducing this percentage.

The Affordable Care Act secured funds to expand Medicaid coverage, and the proposed legislation will get rid of this expansion, as well as cause further harm to health care coverage for hardworking Americans.

My friend and his family do not have health insurance. His mother no longer qualifies for MaineCare (Maine’s Medicaid program) because she “makes too much money.”

A single mom of four kids, she works full time as a preschool teacher and then works nights and weekends as a cashier at a grocery store. All of her money goes toward the family’s basic living expenses. She works hard to put food on the table, but like too many Americans, she and her kids are still uninsured. Stories like this are not uncommon in Maine and across the country.

Health care is a fundamental human right. No one should have to worry about the possibility – or reality – of not having health insurance for themselves, their parents and their children. The U.S. is one of the few remaining developed nations that do not provide health care to all of their citizens.

In order to improve the welfare of those in our country, we must protect the ACA and work to expand Medicaid. Urge your local representatives to stand up for the right to affordable health care and get involved with local progressive groups.

Elise Martin