In the Maine Media

December 2, 2010 by

The failure of the U.S. Senate to pass legislation to extend unemployment benefits has begun to impact Maine families.  In a 12/2/2010 article entitled Mainers face elimination of jobless aid the Kennebec Journal reports that “By the end of the year, nearly 2,700 additional unemployed Maine residents will join those ranks if no benefit extension passes Congress.” The article also provides a chart depicting how many Mainers will lose their benefits through the end of January 2011 on a weekly basis.  If Congress does not extend benefits, the article reports that 29,485 of Maine’s 51,100 (nearly 3 out of 5) unemployed will lose their benefits between now and the first week of April 2011.

Portland’s WGME-TV (CBS, Channel 13) reported on 12/1/2010 that Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree is leading the fight in the U.S. House to extend these unemployment benefits.  “”Are we going to extend tax cuts for the rich, giving millionaires an average tax break of over $100,000? Or are we going to continue unemployment benefits of about $245 a week for out of work Americans?” Congresswoman Pingree asked her colleagues in a speech on the House floor.

In an “op ed” column entitled “Get behind health care” in the 12/2/2010 edition of the Bangor Daily News, Joe Ditre, Executive Director of MECEP partner Consumers for Affordable Health Care labels rhetoric calling for the new Governor and Legislature to dismantle Maine’s groundbreaking Dirigo Health Agency (DHA) “counterproductive.”  He writes “The facts speak for themselves — DHA insures more than 14,000 Mainers who would likely not have access to insurance, they have insured another 38,000 who would have lacked health insurance, and recently added subsidized coverage for small and large businesses with part-time workers as well as for uninsured people with pre-existing conditions. The fact that the agency did not increase its rates for individuals and limited its small-group rate increase to 2 percent is a clear indication that it is an affordable option to a less than equal, competitive playing field in Maine.”

One Response to “In the Maine Media”
  1. Kim says:

    Do you have census data estimating the number of Maine people earning over 1,000,000 a year? It seems crazy that our Senators could vote to maintain the tax breaks for these folks and that we’re not holding them more accountable – any thoughts for protest?

Leave a Comment