I’ve been an in-home caregiver for about three years. I’ve seen clients forced to move into nursing homes that provide a higher level of care than they need, simply because they reached their Medicare limit for in-home care.

I’ve also seen people spend down their life’s savings, even lose the homes they wanted to leave for their children, because they fell between the margins of “low-income enough for assistance” and “wealthy enough to pay out of pocket.”

Emergency services are seen as important, lifesaving services, but the fact is that there are many Mainers who cannot carry out the daily activities of life without help. I believe that people should be able to get the care they need to stay in their homes, without having to sell their homes to afford it.

That’s why I’m voting “yes” this year on Question 1, the referendum question on home care for all. If it is passed, all Mainers in need of home care will receive it, regardless of income. It will use a tax increase on high-income earners equivalent to the Social Security tax break those same earners receive. That way, they are paying the same percentage as you and I, no more and no less, for a vital service that we will all need someday. This is a long-overdue opportunity to help our neighbors and ourselves to stay in our homes and receive affordable care with dignity.

Chelsea Stephens

Westbrook


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