In case you missed it, Governor Janet Mills penned an op-ed in the Portland Press Herald today celebrating the two-year anniversary of the successful Medicaid expansion referendum and highlighting how Maine people now have better access to critical health care coverage under her Administration.
In her op-ed, Governor Mills shares the story of Kathy Stewart of Winslow, a self-employed hairdresser who was struggling to afford the oxygen she needs for her emphysema. As a result of the referendum and Governor Mills’ Executive Order to expand Medicaid on her first day in office, Kathy is now able to receive the care she needs.
“Thursday marks the two-year anniversary of that momentous vote, when Maine became the first state in the nation to expand Medicaid at the ballot box. Now, Kathy is among over 40,000 Maine people who are enrolled in MaineCare under the expansion. Instead of falling through the cracks, they’re getting health care without having to sacrifice other essentials like heat and food. They can breathe easier – in Kathy’s case, quite literally,” wrote Governor Mills.
“With this crucial coverage now in place, we’re seeing Maine people get preventive screenings and treatment of and medication for chronic illnesses,” the Governor continued. “I thank Maine voters for standing up for people like Kathy and promise to continue taking every opportunity make health care affordable for all Mainers.”
Under Governor Mills’ leadership, Maine has:
- added state-guaranteed protections for health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
- expanded reproductive health care coverage under MaineCare
- passed a prescription drug reform package to reduce the cost of medications
- restored the Maine Low-Cost Drugs for the Elderly and Disabled program to cover 1,800 more Maine seniors
- supported treatment and prevention programs to help combat the opioid epidemic
- started to pursue a state-based health insurance marketplace that puts Maine – not the federal government – in the driver’s seat to help consumers and small employers understand their local options for affordable coverage.
- launched a new statewide outreach campaign called CoverME that provides information on and connections to affordable coverage options through both the federal marketplace and expanded MaineCare.
To read Governor Mills’ complete op-ed in the Portland Press Herald, click HERE.