As a 20-year-old college student, it is devastating to hear that peers from my graduating class are dying. The current leading cause of death is opioid overdose.

While the state bickers about how to allocate funding, crunching numbers and methods, we sit back and watch people suffer in the throes of addiction. One thing is certain: We have not done enough.

Rising from 272 opioid overdose deaths in 2015 to 376 in 2016, the state of Maine is still in crisis.

Not only is my generation suffering, but the majority of children admitted to foster care are there because their parents struggle with addiction.

Last year in Maine, over 8,600 people were prescribed medications for substance abuse treatment, but less than 2.5 percent of those slots were for uninsured patients.

Many of those struggling with substance use do not have insurance, but under Medicaid expansion they would. Access to health insurance coverage is the simplest step to ensuring that people receive the treatment they need.

People are dying an arm’s length away from treatment because they can’t afford it. People are dying because they have no health insurance. How can we live in a society that allows people to die?

It is time we say “yes” to more affordable health care, “yes” to Medicaid expansion and “yes” to the Affordable Care Act.

We can restore hope in our communities. We can give those who deserve treatment the dignity of being able to access it.

It is your vote, Maine, this November, vote “yes” to expand Medicaid.

Lynn Kovitch

Portland