There are countless Mainers who face insurmountable barriers in accessing essential health care, but one bill — L.D. 199 — can restore MaineCare coverage for all individuals in our state.

It is time to ensure that all Mainers receive the vital care they need, regardless of immigration status.

When COVID-19 hit, we sought solace in Maine to be closer to family, hoping for a peaceful home with access to life-saving medical services. My 23-year-old son battles cerebral palsy and relies on regular treatment and medication. However, without health coverage, our only option is costly emergency room visits to receive care.

Thankfully, Central Maine Medical Center has provided the life-saving treatment he desperately needed. Unfortunately, the crushing bills — totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars — have left my family in overwhelming financial distress. No one should have to choose between their health and basic necessities like a place to live or food to eat.

As a devoted mother, I fight tirelessly for my son’s well-being, and we dream of making Maine our permanent home. However, the burden of medical costs has forced us to consider leaving. Our story is not unique; untold hardworking individuals and families across the state face similar struggles.

L.D. 199 offers a chance to provide dignity and equitable treatment to all Mainers, regardless of age, income or immigration status. Now is the time to pass this lifesaving legislation and restore Maine’s commitment to affordable health care and a resilient workforce.

Milagros Sanchez, Lewiston

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