For Immediate Release: Bill to accept federal health care dollars gets public hearing

The Speaker of the Maine House Rep. Mark Eves of North Berwick Tuesday gave strong backing to a measure that would authorize Maine to accept federal health care dollars to cover nearly 70,000 Maine families.

LD 1066, “An Act to Increase Access to Health Coverage and Qualify Maine for Federal Funding” during a public hearing in the Health and Human Services Committee is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Linda Sanborn, a retired family doctor from Gorham.

“You can change the lives of 70,000 people in our state by giving their family access to a family doctor:  A working father who can’t afford to pay for his heart medicine; an older Mainer struggling to pay for medicine or food; a veteran who can’t afford their insulin,” said Eves during the public hearing on the bill. “You can not only witness history, you can participate in it.”

If Maine accepts the federal health care dollars to cover nearly 70,000 people, the state will save $ 690 million over the next decade, according to the non-partisan Kaiser Foundation and the conservative Heritage Foundation.

“Maine families should have the security to get the care they need, when they need it, without facing huge medical bills,” said Rep. Sanborn. “We have a unique opportunity to cover more people and save millions of dollars currently spent to treat uninsured people in emergency rooms.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government will fully pay for the coverage for three years. Federal funding will gradually reduce to 90 percent after the first three years. States may opt-out of the program at any time.

More than 50 people came to testify in support of the bill. The Health and Human Services Committee will vote on the measure in the coming weeks.


What Next?

Related Articles