By expanding Medicaid, 31 states have gained healthy and productive work forces that recharge their state economies and pour gold into state tax coffers. The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, for example, estimates that, within 10 years, for every dollar spent on expanding Medicaid, Georgia will get $24 back. Not a single state, not even those with Republican governors, has shrunk its Medicaid program after expanding it.

Fifty-eight nations have universal health care — everybody’s in, nobody need suffer or die from lack of care, nobody need go bankrupt due to illness or injury, nobody need lose their home. The World Health Organization says most of those nations deliver better health care than the U.S. All of them do it cheaper. With their tax dollars, the British, for example, get far better health care than U.S. citizens for, per person, half the money.

To claim that expanded Medicaid or universal health care is unaffordable is fiscal nonsense, if not moral bankruptcy.

Don’t taxpayers’ dollars pay for the salaries and the very fine health care packages elected officials enjoy?

Shouldn’t elected officials work for the electorate, not just for the medical-industrial complex?

If elected officials can’t find the wisdom or the moral backbone to do what 31 states and 58 nations have already done, then they don’t deserve to hold public office.

Access to decent, affordable health care is, or ought to be, the birthright of every citizen of any country that deems itself civilized.

Come November, my volunteer work, and my vote, will say so.

Stephen Turner, Mechanic Falls

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