It seems to me that there has to come a time in this nation when it is guaranteed that all citizens have access to universal and affordable health care.

It is well known that most developed nations now provide their citizens with health care whenever they get sick or are injured. Health care is seen as a right of citizenship, just like police and fire protection and public education. But at this time, between 100,000 and 130,000 Mainers are uninsured and, in 2013, 1,400 Mainers faced bankruptcy because of medical bills.

It is well documented that U.S. residents spend more on health care than residents in others countries and yet there are poorer results. The U.S. ranks 40th in the world in infant mortality and 34th in life expectancy. Without insurance, people are more likely to skip their medications and less likely to seek care until it is too late.

Maine AllCare, which is the Maine chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, is encouraging the formation of individual chapters throughout Maine. I am working with other folks in the Rumford, Mexico and Dixfield area to form a River Valley chapter. I hope that people in other communities will do the same. Together, our voices and concerns can be heard and we can work for the benefit of all.

There is a possibility of three bills for universal single-payer health care insurance in Maine that may be presented for legislative hearing this year. It is a great time to be involved.

Joe Sirois, Rumford

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: