As a new mother, I am deeply concerned about the health care crisis in this country. My husband and I cannot afford to purchase health insurance for our family.

Everyone in this country deserves access to health care that is of good quality and affordable. People die in this country every day because they cannot get the health care that they need and deserve.

Health care reform at the national level must include a public plan. It cannot be left to the insurance companies to make health care insurance affordable to everyone. With a public plan, everyone would have access to coverage, and families such as mine wouldn’t have to worry about health care costs plunging us into debt.

There are thousands of hardworking people like us in Maine and millions of Americans who cannot afford health insurance.

Sen. Olympia Snowe has a crucial role to play in making sure health care truly is affordable, for Mainers and for everyone in  America. She is under incredible pressure to save money on the health care reform program by slashing affordability. Snowe must do the right thing.

I believe that the public plan should have a sliding scale, with subsidies for families under 400 percent of the national poverty level. The health care system in this country is broken, as it does not work for millions of Americans.

We need reform and we need it now. We cannot afford to wait any longer.

Annie Arnold, Lewiston

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