I strongly encourage legislative support of LD 1066, “An Act to Increase Access to Health Coverage and Qualify Maine for Federal Funding.” Maine has the terrific opportunity to accept federal dollars provided by the Affordable Care Act that will provide coverage to nearly 70,000 additional people through MaineCare, Maine's Medicaid program.
MaineCare is a cost-effective program focusing on prevention and early intervention. It encourages patients to self-manage their chronic conditions, improving their health while at the same time saving the state millions of dollars in health care costs and lost productivity. This bill will also create thousands of new jobs for Maine and help grow the economy at this most critical time.
LD 1066 will both improve health outcomes and save lives. Having coverage and access to primary care providers prevents delays in treatment that exacerbate health conditions that lead to unneeded and costly trips to hospital emergency departments. Increased access also reduces unnecessary suffering and premature deaths.
What is more important to Maine then permitting its residents to have healthy and productive lives?
And with the federal government willing to pick up nearly all the expense, how can Maine turn this proposal down?
The new bill would also eliminate confusing rules and guidelines. That will help patients get the right service, at the right place at the right time. It deserves continuing bipartisan support, makes sense for Maine’s people and economy and is an opportunity Maine cannot afford to pass up.
Jim Lysen, Lewiston