Voters have an opportunity to improve healthcare in Maine next Tuesday, including for older residents (age 50-64). Expanding Medicaid would be especially beneficial to thousands of Mainers in that age group since at least 40 percent have one or more pre-existing condition. When the state last expanded Medicaid in 2002, the number of uninsured went down and access to care improved. What’s more, a recent study projects that expansion would inject nearly $500 million in federal funds into Maine’s economy in the next two fiscal years, which would generate 6,000 new jobs (mostly in the health sector). The total economic boost would be more than $700 million. It is time for Maine to join the more than 30 other states who have reaped the benefits of expanding Medicaid. Increased coverage, better access to care, and a huge economic boon make this an easy ‘yes’ vote.
Max Richtman of Washington, DC is the President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.