To the Editor:
As a physician who has practiced medicine in Bar Harbor for over 45 years, I continue to be deeply concerned and disappointed by Gov. Paul Lepage’s ill-informed opposition to Mainecare expansion. I also am very disappointed in our Maine legislature for their repeated failures to overcome Lepage’s vetoes of bipartisan compromise to expand Mainecare.
There are many studies in the medical literature documenting the health care benefits of health insurance. A leading study in the “New England Journal of Medicine” in 2012 showed that for every 176 additional adults covered; one death per year was prevented.
Over the past four years, around 75 adults in Hancock County and almost 900 adults in Maine have died unnecessarily (and many more have suffered needlessly) because of LePage’s misguided policies and the legislature’s failure to overcome his vetoes.
Expanding Mainecare also would have economic benefits. Dr. Feinglass, professor of medicine at the Northwestern School of Medicine, has estimated that LePage’s vetoes already have cost Maine thousands of jobs and millions of dollars.
But economics is not the primary reason to expand Mainecare. The primary reason is to prevent unnecessary deaths and suffering for our most vulnerable citizens.
Ted Koffman of Bar Harbor, who served admirably in the Maine House of Representatives for 8 years, has consistently supported expanding Mainecare. He will continue to do so if he is elected to the State Senate in November 2016.
As a state representative, Koffman chaired the Natural Resources Committee and had a strong record in environmental safety issues. In 2008, Koffmann received the Environmental Leadership Award from the Maine League of Conservation Voters.
We need Ted Koffman in our state Senate to provide a strong voice for expansion of Mainecare and protection of our environment.
Dr. Edward B. Gilmore