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To the Editor:

I have been on the board at a local women’s health center and am now serving on the advocacy committee, so I am aware of the impact which Governor Paul LePage’s rejection of the expansion of Medicaid is having on the patients the center serves.

The center is not seeing patients who would otherwise come for preventive care during their annual exams. Women are also missing out on regular screenings for intimate partner violence and consequently, counseling and referrals to meet the health and safety needs of their families. This lack of access to care not only impacts the individual woman’s health, but also her economic security.

When women are healthy, we are better workers, more productive and efficient. Health impacts work just as work impacts health. And when woman are more economically secure, we are better able to care for our children, spouses and other family members.

As women, we play a pivotal role in this falls elections. My message to candidates is to stop playing politics with healthcare and close the coverage gap for women of all ages, families, veterans and the 69,500 other Mainers who stand to benefit.

Marsha Pilz

Southwest Harbor