I recently went to the Homeless Veterans Stand Down at the Veterans Administration hospital in Augusta. That annual fall event helps homeless veterans by connecting them with resources like MaineCare and employment services. The VA also provides health screenings and warm clothing for the winter.

I was glad to see so many people come out to help, and show their support for these veterans. I want to thank the volunteers and the VA for putting on this event. I also want to thank the four veterans who allowed me to spend the day with them and who shared their stories with me.

One veteran’s story in particular has stuck with me. He is living in temporary housing and doing his best to piece together work and save so he can afford permanent housing. He is also worried about health care.

He is one of the veterans losing MaineCare because Maine has not accepted federal dollars to expand health care. If Maine accepts the federal offer approximately 3,000 Maine veterans will get the health care they need.

I will keep this veteran’s story in mind when the Legislature reconvenes and again votes to accept these health care dollars to provide coverage for 70,000 Mainers.

Wayne Werts, Auburn

Maine state Representative for District 70, Auburn and Lewiston

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