The past year living with the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important access to affordable health care is for all Maine people.

Imagine if COVID testing or vaccines were limited to only some of our Maine residents, and others were excluded from these tests and vaccines based on their immigration status. Excluding people from MaineCare due to immigration status puts all Mainers at risk of more spread of infectious diseases and more costly emergency room interventions. Uninsured or underinsured people avoid preventative testing and care, and wait until a condition becomes a crisis to seek help, due to fears of extreme medical bills.

When people are healthy, they can work. When children are healthy, they can learn. Health care is a human right. It makes good financial sense to include all financially-eligible Mainers in an insurance program that allows access to preventative care, lifesaving vaccines and medical treatment before things hit the crisis point and individuals need to seek expensive emergency care.

I urge the full Legislature to pass LD 718, to restore MaineCare access to our immigrant and refugee friends and neighbors.

Lacey Donle, Lisbon Falls


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