“Whazzat?” This was me in 2017. My patient wife suggested an audiologist appointment. The result? Yes, I had significant hearing loss. The fee for the recommended hearing aids: $1,750 each – $3,500 for both – and that was with the $750 each that my generous (at that time) insurance would cover. We couldn’t afford them.

Then a letter arrived in December 2019 saying insurance would cover the cost of hearing aids beginning Jan. 1, 2020. I was hearing better by mid-February. The cost to me for a pair of $5,000 hearing aids, that can link to my phone, take calls and enable me to privately listen to podcasts: $4. Yes, you read that correctly, 4 dollars.

Why did the insurance company decide to cover my need? Was it because they suddenly concluded that everyone should interact in a meaningful manner with their spouses, friends and neighbors? Nope. It was the Democratically led Legislature and Gov. Mills that broadened how much coverage all Mainers receive from their health care insurance.

This didn’t happen as a result of politically charged rhetoric. It was the Democratic Legislature and a governor whose leadership style is to carefully examine all sides of an issue, make a determination and then act in a manner that provides the most benefit to all Mainers.

If you want leadership in Maine that helps the little guy (and gal) overcome real issues that improve their lives, join me in supporting Gov. Mills and return a Democratically led Legislature to Augusta in November.

Geoff Bates
South Bristol

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