Last November, nearly 60 percent of Maine voters elected to expand Medicaid so that an additional 70,000 Mainers could have health insurance. These are working people who cannot afford private health insurance – working people who earn up to $16,753 for an individual and $34,638 for a family of four (not a lot of money by any stretch).

Why have we said “no thanks” to the federal government when they offered to pay 90 percent of the expansion (about $500 million) that would provide this insurance, not to mention support for our cash-strapped rural hospitals? It can’t be lack of funding because Democratic legislators found a way to fund Maine’s portion of the expansion without increasing taxes. So, why?

Gov. Paul LePage, vetoed Medicaid expansion legislation five times, and has even gone so far as to say he would rather go to jail than implement this voter-approved expansion. Like LePage, Republican gubernatorial candidate Shawn Moody opposes Medicaid expansion and has said he would fight to repeal it if elected.

Janet Mills, Democratic candidate for governor, supports Medicaid expansion. She understands that these federal dollars will benefit Maine’s economy, create jobs and provide health insurance for 70,000 fellow Mainers. We must elect Janet Mills as our next governor; Maine’s health depends on it.

Linda Hjortland


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