C. Saddlemire: Poorest Mainers being left out

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Obamacare has made it possible for millions of Americans to have the affordable health insurance they deserve, and I’m one of them.

During the past two years, while serving on City Council and attending graduate school, I earned very little income and found the most affordable way to maintain some health insurance coverage was a catastrophic plan with Anthem that included a $15,000 deductible and a $175/month premium.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act — aka Obamacare — I was able to switch to Maine Community Health Options for comprehensive coverage, a $200 deductible, and a premium of only $42 per month.

But the lowest income earners in this state are being left out in the cold by Gov. Paul LePage’s unjustifiable decision to refuse federal dollars for Medicaid expansion — a key piece of the Affordable Care Act.

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I am young, financially stable, and have been served well by the president’s plan. The poorest Mainers must not be left out in the cold during this historic effort to expand health insurance coverage throughout the nation.

If the same opportunity that I have received isn’t expanded to low-income earners, the effect will be devastating for their individual livelihoods and crippling for Maine’s economy.

The governor should do the right thing and expand Medicaid.

Craig Saddlemire, Lewiston

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