Letter to the editor: Time for action on universal health coverage in Maine
A nonprofit group started by Maine residents is planning to circulate petitions to put a resolve before voters in November 2022.
Maine Health Care Action, a nonprofit 501(c)4 organization started by Maine residents, plans to collect petition signatures to approve a resolve that will be presented to Maine voters in November 2022. The resolve instructs the Maine Legislature to “develop legislation to establish a system of universal health care coverage in the state and directs the joint standing committee to report out a bill to the Legislature to implement its proposal by 2024.” The resolve is simple and straightforward, reflecting the will of the electorate that our Legislature address the inequities and costs of a dysfunctional delivery system and pass comprehensive health care reform.
The specifics of the legislation will be determined by the Legislature, including funding mechanisms. There will be many opportunities for public comment and input. The time has passed for just establishing “study committees” or referring health care bills to legislative subcommittees never again to see the light of day.
The task before Maine Health Care Action is uphill but surmountable. With limited resources, we will depend on individual financial contributions and volunteers to collect the 63,067 valid signatures for the resolve to appear on a statewide ballot. For further information on our resolve and Maine Health Care Action, go to www.Mainehealthcareaction.org.
Faced with opposition from special interest groups, we anticipate overwhelmingly strong public support for our resolve. It will be up to the Legislature to balance many competing interests and come up with a cost-effective health care system that will benefit all Maine people.
William Clark, M.D.
board member, Maine Health Care Action
Larry Kaplan, M.D.
chair, Maine Health Care Action