Maine Legislature

Speakerís Office

www.speakereves.com

 

 

January 10, 2014

Contact: Jodi Quintero: 841-6279 [Eves]

 

Speaker Eves: Politics is the only obstacle to life-saving health care for Maine people

Alexander report another political excuse to deny and delay health care.

 

When Laura Tasheiko of Northport found out she had seriously aggressive cancer she was fortunate to get the treatment she needed because she qualified for life-saving health care through Medicaid. But earlier this month she was dropped and left without coverage as she continues her recovery from the ongoing and debilitating effects of cancer, surgery, and chemotherapy.

 

Like 25,000 other Mainers, Laura lost her coverage because Governor Paul LePage refused to accept federal health care dollars to expand Medicaid in Maine.

 

Good morning, Iím Speaker of the Maine House Mark Eves of North Berwick.

 

Lauraís story is one of the many reasons the Legislature will reignite our effort to make sure health care is affordable for more Maine families. Earlier this week, hundreds of Mainers like Laura rallied at the State House on the opening day of the Legislative session in support of accepting federal health care dollars to cover more Mainers.

 

Maine has an opportunity to accept 100 percent federal funding to provide health care for 70,000 Maine people, including nearly 3,000 veterans. We should do it.

 

The only obstacle standing in the way of this life-saving health care is politics.  

 

Health care is a right not a privilege. No one should go bankrupt just because they get sick.

 

Accepting these federal dollars will mean life-saving health care for people like Laura.  It will also save and create thousands of jobs by investing more than $250 million dollars into our state economy each year.

 

Plus, it will save the state money, Independent studies show the state will save $690 million dollars over the course of 10 years. Maine is one of only 10 states that will see such dramatic savings.

 

Now, Governor LePage and his Tea Party allies will say and do anything to stop this common sense health care proposal from moving forward.

Theyíve even  paid an out-of-state Tea Party consultant to produce a report opposing it.  The $1 million contract went to Gary Alexander, whose mismanagement and failed policies resulted in 89,000 children losing health care in Pennsylvania and cost taxpayers in that state $7 million.

 

You can expect the Governor and his supporters to tout this report. I urge you to see it for what it is: Another political excuse to deny and delay life-saving health care to more Maine people.

 

I urge you to join the chorus of Mainers who support expanding health care. On Wednesday, Jan. 15th. a public hearing will be held on my bill to accept federal health dollars to cover more Maine people,

 

Lawmakers need to hear from Mainers about health care not out of state million dollar consultant.

 

Thank you for listening.

 

Iím Speaker of the House Mark Eves and I wonít stop fight for health care for the people of Maine.