Good Morning. This is State Senator Margaret Craven of Lewiston.
Much has been said over the last month since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare. Just last week, on the heels of the Republican Governor’s Association’s letter to Obama seeking answers about the new health care law, Governor LePage continues to use flame-throwing and exaggerated rhetoric when talking about Obamacare. He has drawn a line in the sand and said that he will do nothing to move forward to be in compliance with Obamacare until after the November election.
LePage wants it both ways. He wants more state flexibility yet he complains that there is not enough federal guidance. His refusal to move forward by working with the Maine Legislature is frustrating and counterproductive to the health and wellbeing of Maine people.
Many of us believed that the decision by the Supreme Court was a seminal step in taking the politics out of healthcare and making sure that all families can afford to have a family doctor. Meanwhile, the governor and his republican allies in the Legislature continue to play political football with people’s health instead of doing what is right and focusing on solutions to the health care crisis.
Obamacare will give each of us—whether we already have health care or not—the security and protection we deserve from the worst insurance company abuses.
Parents shouldn’t have to hold bake-sales to pay for their child’s cancer treatment, seniors shouldn’t have to choose between paying for their lifesaving medication or their rent, and women shouldn’t have to forfeit cancer-prevention screenings like mammograms because of the thousand-dollar price tag. We all deserve health care—not just those who can afford it.
Here are the facts about Obamacare:
If you are a woman, you will no longer be charged more than a man for health care.
If your child has asthma or another pre-existing condition, your health insurance company cannot deny your child healthcare.
If you’re a young person just getting started in life, you can stay on your parent’s health insurance until the age of 26.
If you are a small business owner you will get a tax credit for offering your employees health care. And if your small business has under 50 employees you will not be required to provide health coverage for your employees.
And, if you get sick, have cancer or diabetes, or you’re pregnant or have any other condition insurance companies decide is “pre-existing,” Obamacare stops insurance companies from canceling or denying your coverage.
To be clear, Obamacare is not a tax. The only people paying a fee are the projected ONE PERCENT of those Americans who can afford insurance and choose not to purchase it. Obamacare puts an end to taxpayers subsidizing health care for the people who can afford to get it. The rest of us hardworking Mainers will get a tax credit, averaging about $4,000 so that we can afford health care.
It is important that we go forward and focus on implementing this law in a smart way that works for the middle-class families of Maine. The governor’s do-nothing-approach compromises the health of Maine families. It will cost all of us more, including the state’s budget. And it will cede state control to the federal government. I urge the governor to stop the political games and get back to work solving the problems that matter most to Maine people.
This is State Senator Margaret Craven of Lewiston. Thank you for listening. And have a great weekend.