letter to the editor

Vote yes on Medicaid expansion

Posted:  Monday, September 25, 2017 - 4:00pm

Dear Editor:

It hasn't taken us long to develop a new minority to despise: healthy adults without children. Herbert Padgett's letter in the Sept. 14 Wiscasset Newspaper states that Maine cannot afford to expand Medicaid on their behalf.

But, Mr. Padgett, what if a hale young self-employed carpenter on a construction job falls from an unfinished roof? What if an otherwise healthy file clerk, who rents, passes out from exposure to toxic substances in her cleaning supplies or garden sprays? What if a young farmer is run over by a tractor? Or a fisherman suffers injuries and exposure when his boat capsizes. (I have a friend whose upper right leg is titanium because he was caught between a deck rail and a 30,000-pound netload of fish.) How about the filling station attendant (or a self-serving driver) who gets too much of a whiff of gasoline? A hiker stumbles too near the edge of a mountain trail and falls onto rocks below?

Surgery, medications and rehab cost $$$$! You sympathize with the elderly, the disabled, and children (or their parents) who find it hard to pay for health care, but are not the above theoretical examples cases
of disability?  How is our carpenter to resume his trade if his back is broken? Will the farmer ever be able to till his acreage again? The female renter may not be able to keep her apartment. The filling station guy is probably paid peanuts, with no benefits. The hiker might have had a career in mind as a Maine woods guide or forest warden, but never again be able to realize his or her dream. This is why Medicaid is insurance, not welfare.

Think about these healthy adults without children before you stamp out their chances for recovery. There will not be so many of these cases that elderly, disabled and children's needs cannot be addressed, if, and only if, MaineCare is extended to this portion of our population. There is no excuse to exclude any citizen from immediate and complete health care, as affordable as possible. Let us all vote YES for Medicaid expansion on Nov. 7.

Jo Cameron