----There is a NEW bill to bring those federal funds to 70,000 low-income Mainers, and it's going to vote on Monday. We are hoping this one will be less objectionable to Republicans, and we need you to call your legislators at home this weekend. Legislators expect to be called at home, and this is urgent. Please read the below, from Susan Lamb, the executive director of the Maine chapter of the National Association of Social Workers for more information.
And thanks for your help.
THIS Monday the Maine House of Representatives will be voting on an important bill LD 1066, An Act To Increase Access to Health Coverage and Qualify Maine for Federal Funding.
This bill will provide health care coverage to nearly 70,000 low income (at or near the Federal Poverty Level) Mainers who need it and all of the money for it is coming from the Federal government for the next three years. In years 4 through 10, 90% of the money is coming from the Federal government.
If Maine FAILS to pass this bill, or the Governor vetoes it and the veto is not over-ridden by 2/3rd of the House and Senate, it means that OUR federal tax dollars will go towards paying for this expansion in the 47 states who have embraced it, and not our own. NASW Maine thinks that this is not so good for Maine Federal taxpayers, at any income level.
The legislation would reduce overall health care costs, save millions of taxpayer dollars being spent treating uninsured people in emergency rooms and get hard working, low-income Maine families access to the life saving screenings and treatment that they need.
Your Representative needs to hear from you about the importance of accepting the federal dollars that have already been set aside for our state to cover more Mainers through MaineCare. Please click here to contact your legislator about this important piece of legislation!
Here are further options:
FIRST, call your legislators at home this weekend. Everyone is at home except possibly the House and Senate Leaders and the members of Appropriations, who are working on the budget. It will rain tomorrow in much of Maine, so that is a great time to “reach out”.
Maine Legislators EXPECT to be called at home by their constituents, and unless a legislator is a personal friend of yours, stick to those who are YOUR Representatives, please. It is burn out season for them.
Please also take a quick moment to call your Representative. First look up your Representative at http://www.maine.gov/portal/government/edemocracy/lookup_voter_info then call them at home this weekend to leave a message with your representative urging them to accept federal funds to provide health care to nearly 70,000 Mainers!
Or, alternatively, on Monday morning, call them at their respective Party offices or at:
(Deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired callers can reach the Maine Relay by dialing 711 or use online relay at i711.com.)
1-800-423-2900 for the general mailbox.
House Democratic Majority Office: 207 287-1430
House Republican Minority Office: 207 287-144
Be sure to state who you are, what town you are from and why you believe it's important to provide health care coverage to almost 70,000 Mainers. As always, remember that these folks run for an office that pays less than $22,000 over a two year period, so whatever you say, say it nicely (as I’m sure all social workers do).
Thank you for taking this important step towards bringing health care coverage to the many hard-working Maine families that really need health insurance. Your call this weekend, or on Monday morning can save both lives and money. What a great idea! This must be why 47 states said “yes” to the offer.
Maine Chapter, NASWP.S. Please click here to get the name and contact info for your legislator if you haven't already gotten in touch with them.