Contact: John Hennessy (207) 347-1995 email@example.com
Jane Margesson (207) 229-5628 firstname.lastname@example.org
AARP Maine Urges Legislature to Override Governor’s Veto of Medicaid Expansion
Calls for Accepting Federal Funds for Maine
PORTLAND: AARP Maine, a leader of the Cover Maine Now coalition, is urging the Maine State Legislature to override Governor Paul LePage’s veto of LD1066, the bill that calls for the expansion of affordable health care services under the Affordable Care Act.
“Almost 70,000 Mainers would benefit from the state’s acceptance of federal funds, already allotted to Maine, to expand affordable health care services,” said John Hennessy, AARP Maine Director of Advocacy. “Maine should not miss this opportunity and we urge the legislature to override Governor LePage’s veto and support it.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, Maine can accept federal dollars in order to assist residents who have lost their health insurance get Medicaid health coverage if their incomes are less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level. 69,500 Maine people who are not currently insured could qualify for health care coverage in Maine if the measure is approved. Of the 69,500 Mainers who would benefit, more than 16,300 are age 50-64 who have lost their jobs or are working in jobs without health benefits.
“The 50-64 year olds who need this help have worked hard and have paid into the system through state and local taxes all their working lives,” said Hennessy. “It is important to remember that older individuals are more likely to face the onset of health conditions which, if left untreated, could inevitably impact their productivity and increase their need for more expensive acute care treatments in the future.”
Cover Maine Now, a statewide coalition of more than 85 organizations, has been pushing for the expansion of Medicaid and has raised awareness statewide regarding the economic benefits of extending health care services in the state. Under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the federal government would pay the entire cost of covering newly eligible individuals for three years beginning in 2014 and 90 percent starting in 2020. The expanded health coverage would provide access to both primary and preventive care such as medical screenings. With access to affordable coverage, residents would be less likely to seek care in an emergency room which, in most cases, is the most expensive way to receive health care.
“It is critical that the Maine State Legislature work together in the spirit of bi-partisanship to make this happen,” said Hennessy. “Leaving 69,500 Mainers out in the cold because of short-sighted politics would be devastating. AARP Maine urges every legislator to do the right thing and vote to override Governor LePage’s veto of LD1066.”
For more information, go to www.covermainenow.org
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment security and retirement planning. We advocate for consumers in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a bilingual news source. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.
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