We thank Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins for their support of the extension of emergency funding for Medicaid, known as MaineCare. In joining Reps. Michael Michaud and Chellie Pingree to support this funding, our entire congressional delegation rose above politics and demonstrated their commitment to health care and the people of Maine.

We are hosting a 45th birthday party with SeniorsPlus in Lewiston on Wednesday to celebrate the enactment of Medicaid and Medicare, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965. As we celebrate this historic legislation and recognize the significant impact of these programs — keeping seniors healthy, making sure families have access to health care, and stimulating our economy with jobs in the health care sector — we couldn’t be more grateful for our senators’ support and leadership.

MaineCare has played a critical role in securing health coverage for people with low incomes. A vital safety net, MaineCare covers children, parents, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and the elderly, helping them to lead healthier lives and enjoy greater economic security. The services that MaineCare beneficiaries receive, including preventive care and chronic disease management, can help make them healthier and more productive, while also reducing their need for more expensive, acute health services over the long term, leading to reduced costs for everyone.

The senators’ votes will help Maine keep jobs and maintain services to lower income families, and lighten the financial burden on an already strapped state government.

Joseph P. Ditré, Esq., Augusta

Executive director, Consumers for Affordable Health Care

Sara Gagne-Holmes, Esq., Augusta

Executive director, Maine Equal Justice Partners

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