Sens. Gratwick, Carson appointed to Task Force on Health Care for All

Posted: December 01, 2017 | Health and Human Services, Senator Carson, Senator Gratwick

AUGUSTA — Sens. Geoff Gratwick, D-Bangor, and Brownie Carson, D-Harpswell, have been appointed to the Legislature’s special task force on Health Coverage for All of Maine.

The task force is the result of legislation passed earlier this year by an effort led by Sens. Gratwick and Rod Whittemore, R-Skowhegan. Its purpose is to “study the design and implementation of options for a health care plan that provides coverage for all residents of the State.”

“As a former physician, one of my biggest focuses in the Legislature has been to ensure that all citizens of Maine have access to quality, affordable health care, regardless of their ZIP Code, their income or their medical history,” said Sen. Gratwick. “It is imperative we make sure Maine’s health care policy is laser-focused on the needs of patients and families — not the profits of prescription drug and insurance companies.”

Both Sen. Gratwick and Sen. Carson have been active in health care issues in their time in the Legislature. Gratwick, successfully sponsored a bill this past legislative session requiring MaineCare to cover the costs of telehealth services. Carson, who is serving his first term Legislature, successfully sponsored a bill to restore Maine’s public health nursing services following six years of devastating cuts and mismanagement by the LePage Administration.

“My work to restore Maine’s public health nursing program has reaffirmed my belief that the basic health and wellbeing of citizens is integral to a civil society,” said Sen. Carson. “I look forward to working with my colleagues from all corners of the state to ensure we have a health system designed to address critical aspects of both disease prevention and treatment, including rising infant mortality rates and the epidemic of drug addiction.”

The appointment was made by the President of the Senate, making Gratwick and Carson among four senators to be named to the task force. In addition to the four senators, four representatives and eight members of the public have been appointed — each representing the interests of consumers, health care providers, insurance carriers, business owners and hospitals.

The task force will submit a full report of its findings to the Legislature no later than November 1, 2018.