Health Insurance Coverage in Maine: Heading in the Wrong Direction, Particularly for Children

September 17, 2015 by

New Census Bureau data released yesterday paint a bleak picture for Maine when it comes to improving access to affordable health coverage.

Maine is the only state that has not experienced an increase in the percentage of people with health insurance coverage since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. The new data also show that Maine currently ranks 24th in the nation in percentage of those with … Read the rest

Time to turn off Maine’s wasteful tax expenditure “faucet”

September 2, 2015 by

One of the most fundamental obligations of the governor and legislature is careful, vigilant stewardship of how the state spends taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars. There are many competing priorities: education for our State House tax expenditure faucet FINAL blogkids, health care, public safety, investments in infrastructure for good roads and clean water— the list goes on. It is especially troubling to discover that the state has failed to account for tens of millions of dollars annually, hundreds … Read the rest

Fix the ACA family coverage “glitch”

August 18, 2015 by

ACAIn the two years since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect, more Americans have health insurance than ever before. In 2013, before the law took effect, there were 14 states with over 20 percent of their residents uninsured. Now Texas is the only state with more than 20 percent uninsured, but even Texas reduced the number of uninsured by nearly 7 percent. Over the same period, the number … Read the rest

Medicaid works in Maine

August 11, 2015 by

Here are just a few examples of how. Maine children, the elderly, and people with disabilities derive the greatest benefit. But we are all better off when kids get a healthy start, when our parents and grandparents receive proper nursing home care, when people don’t have to rely on emergency rooms but can see a doctor before they become sicker and require more expensive care. Medicaid isn’t just good for … Read the rest

Mainers’ food security depends upon a stronger, improved SNAP

August 10, 2015 by

SNAP logo_smallOver the course of one year, nearly 1 in 5 Mainers will rely on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to put food on the table. Even more, this figure is an underestimation of the number of people who go hungry in Maine, as many are unable to or prevented from utilizing SNAP. There are actions that both the state and the federal government can take to strengthen and … Read the rest

New high school equivalency test providing opportunity for hundreds of Mainers

August 6, 2015 by

Over 400 Mainers who would have been passed over by the traditional GED received their high school diplomas in 2014. That’s 400 more Mainers who now have a better opportunity for a job to support themselves and their families.

It’s because Maine dropped the traditional GED and opted for a new high school equivalency test, Hi-SET™, produced by the nonprofit Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The GED was created for WWII … Read the rest

Medicare: 50 years old and, since health care reform, more fiscally fit

August 4, 2015 by

You know there’s an election coming when you start hearing politicians claiming that Medicare is on the verge of bankruptcy. And with the first presidential debate scheduled for Thursday, the Doomsday Dirge has begun. Before we bury the body, let’s check the vital signs. Last week, Medicare trustees weighed in and to paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of Medicare’s death are greatly exaggerated.

As the Center on Budget and Policy Read the rest

Happy birthday to Medicaid and to the thousands of children whose lives it has saved

August 3, 2015 by

I will never forget one day when was in my late 20s, expecting my first baby. I happened to be alone with my grandmother in her tiny, gleaming kitchen. She paused, then asked gravely, “Now: have you put aside money for the hospital?”

“Well, not really, Grammy,” I stammered, perplexed by the question and her sudden seriousness. “We  . . . we have health insurance to cover it.”

She accepted … Read the rest

Medicare at 50

July 30, 2015 by

Medicare at 50 7-30-2015 bannerHarry Truman was president when I was born. I was 13 years old on July 30, 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson traveled to Independence, Missouri to sign the new law creating Medicare, in the presence of former President Truman, one of the law’s greatest advocates and the program’s first enrollee in 1966.

The data since the law took effect reveal stunning results:

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The day health care in America changed forever

July 29, 2015 by

Tomorrow, July 30, is a date of historic firsts.

In 1619, the House of Burgesses, America’s first elected governing assembly met for the first time in Virginia, just 12 years after the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown.

In 1792, 500 Marseillaisians sang France’s national anthem for first time, Allons enfants de la patrie . . .

And in 1965, July 30th was the day health care in America changed … Read the rest

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