Protecting Women’s Rights and Fighting for Increased Health Care Coverage

In the last legislative session, I made access to affordable health care central to my work. We had a number of successes. Notable among them was LD 319, “An Act To Strengthen the Economic Stability of Qualified Maine Citizens by Expanding Coverage of Reproductive Health Care and Family Services”, which provides critical access to reproductive and sexual health care including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, STI testing and treatment for low-income adults. The bill became law without the governor’s signature and is now in effect. It will improve the health of thousands of Mainers and help the state save taxpayer dollars.

As a result of this work, I’m pleased and honored to receive the endorsement of the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund. Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund is a key provider of reproductive health care services, and is a major player in the fight to protect women’s rights, address women’s issues, and expand health care access for all.

If I have the honor of being re-elected, I plan to continue my efforts to pursue health care access for all Mainers. I am certain this can be done to the benefit of our economy. Last session, I co-sponsored a bill, LD 633, which would have provided coverage through MaineCare for low-income adults up to 138% of the federal poverty level. This is known as full Medicaid adoption, and would provide health coverage to approximately 69,500 Maine residents who currently have none. Maine is the only state in New England that hasn’t accepted the federal funding available under the ACA to extend coverage to its low-income uninsured. This means that federal taxes paid by Maine people go to provide health care coverage for residents of the other New England states – an unfortunate situation to say the least.

This bill passed the House in a bipartisan vote but failed in the Senate. I intend to continue to work to get sensible health care legislation passed so that more Mainers can obtain health care coverage, and am proud to have earned Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund’s endorsement.