Doing what is right for Maine

August 6, 2017

If the ACA had been repealed, Maine would have lost $5 billion in federal funding for health coverage and services. The Maine Center for Economic Policy estimates the state has already lost nearly $2 billion because it did not expand Medicaid.

by Catherine R. Ryder, (Lewiston) Sun Journal, August 6, 2017

As executive director of Tri-County Mental Health Services, I speak for the thousands of Mainers to whom we provide trauma-informed services promoting whole health and wellness when I send heartfelt thanks to Sen. Susan Collins for not bowing to pressure to pass health care legislation that would have harmed Mainers with mental illnesses and addictions.

The U.S. Senate’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would have stripped coverage from millions of vulnerable Mainers and restructured Maine’s MaineCare program. The individuals affected would have had nowhere to turn to get the treatment they need. Addiction is a preventable, treatable illness. Mainers struggling with addiction are finally able to receive treatment, just as they would for a heart disease or diabetes.

Overdose deaths have reached epidemic proportions. In Maine, one person dies from an overdose every day. If the ACA had been repealed, Maine would have lost $5 billion in federal funding for health coverage and services. The Maine Center for Economic Policy estimates the state has already lost nearly $2 billion because it did not expand Medicaid.

The fight isn’t over. Sen. Collins has made clear that the ACA is not perfect and that soaring health care costs and provider shortages are unacceptable. She also recognizes that bipartisan talks are needed to stabilize insurance markets and make health care work for all.

The Tri-County Community supports her continued fight for what is right for Maine.

Catherine R. Ryder, LCPC, ACS, executive director, Tri-County Mental Health Services