healthcare

A new report released today by the Maine People's Alliance and the Center for Economic Policy and Research shows that Maine could save over $300 million if the Federal government allowed Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs.

“This report confirms the absolute necessity of allowing Medicaid to negotiate on the cost of prescription drugs,” said Jennie Pirkl, Maine People’s Alliance health care organizer. “This money could be saving lives in Maine and across the country and instead it’s going to pad the profits of pharmaceutical companies.”

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Affected Mainers to share personal stories
 
Today at 11am, the Maine People’s Alliance will host Congressman Mike Michaud in Bangor for a discussion on why MPA members believe the State of Maine should accept federal funding for an expansion of Medicaid that was made possible by congressional passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Michaud, who supported the ACA, will hear directly from Mainers affected by the current impasse.

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Today, the House and Senate co-chairs of the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee joined members of the Maine People’s Alliance to release “Broken Bootstraps: Falling Behind on Full-Time Work”, a report by the Alliance for a Just Society which examines the growing gap between the number of jobseekers in Maine and jobs available that pay a living wage.

MPA Statement on Blatantly False Attacks:

Today, a new round of attack mailers is landing in mailboxes across the state. These mail pieces, funded by Anthem insurance company and targeting a number of candidates who oppose Anthem's rate hikes, represent one of the most fundamentally dishonest attacks ever committed in Maine politics.

Even by the loose standards of attack ads, the claims made are absolutely indefensible.

Local Business Owner Rebuffed at Town Hall

The Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare, has done great things for Maine by eliminating some of the very worst practices of private insurance companies. So far in Maine 7,329 young adults have gained insurance coverage on their parent’s plans, 12,865 seniors on Medicare received a $250 rebate check to cover the cost of prescriptions, 187,251 people with Medicare received free preventative services or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor, and 226,000 people with private health insurance gained preventative service coverage with no cost-sharing.

In the year since Public Law 90 passed, Lisa Burton, who along with her husband owns Reel Pizza Cinerama in Bar Harbor, has seen health insurance premiums for her business and its employees increase by more than 95%. A 46% increase last year was followed by a 66% increase just days ago.

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With a planned party-line budget vote today, Maine Republicans are set to take an historic action. By ratifying Governor Paul LePage's deep cuts to important health care programs and his giant new tax breaks that mainly benefit the wealthy, they are set to make Maine's economic policy the most ideological and extreme of any state in the nation.

A universal single payer healthcare system guarantees quality health care for everyone. While providers of healthcare remain private, the system of paying for it becomes public, much like Medicare and Social Security. A single, non-profit government insurer would take on some of the roles of the many current profit-seeking health insurance companies.

The problem

Less than a month ago, the Maine People's Alliance called for an investigation into what led DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew, a former corporate lobbyist, to provide incorrect budgetary information to the Appropriations Committee, leading to massive cuts to health care programs protecting Maine's most vulnerable. 

Over the weekend, Governor Paul LePage made a series of contradictory on-air statements about what happened at DHHS and personally attacked those who have asked for answers. MPA believes this reinforces the need for an independent investigation. 

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