AUGUSTA – Organizations supporting the All Means All campaign to allow all income-qualified Mainers to access MaineCare, regardless of age or immigration status, issued the following statement in reaction to the Senate’s vote against passage of LD 199:
“Maine should be a place where all of us, regardless of background or origin, can get health care when we need it. Unfortunately, this week the Maine Senate missed the chance to close an unjust and short-sighted gap in MaineCare coverage for adult immigrants.
The failure to pass LD 199 will have significant real-life consequences. We know moms who are struggling to stay healthy to care for their kids, Mainers who work as home health aides but are unable to afford medication to manage their diabetes, and a father who tragically lost his life because they were too afraid to seek costly care and bankrupt their young families’ futures.
Despite many hurdles, this campaign has made huge progress toward building a broad-based coalition of support, including legislative champions in both the House and Senate. We have also centered the voices of Maine people–family, friends, community members, and neighbors–who are directly impacted by the lack of access to comprehensive healthcare due to their immigration status.
Testimony from impacted Mainers, health care providers, hospitals, community organizations, faith leaders, social workers, and others moved the Health and Human Services Committee to pass LD 199 out of committee and recommend funding for the bill in their budget report to the Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee. Significantly, the Maine House also passed LD 199 78-61 earlier this week with bipartisan support.
LD 199 came farther than any bill like it before. The arc of justice is long, but in Maine it is bending toward health equity. Those without access to life-saving health care can’t afford the luxury of time, so we’ll continue to bring their urgent stories to legislators and we won’t stop until health care for all truly means all.”
The All Means All coalition includes Presente! Maine, New Mainers Public Health Initiative, Maine Equal Justice, Maine People’s Alliance, Maine Center for Economic Policy, and Consumers for Affordable Health Care.