Democratic Radio Address Text
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2013
Jodi Quintero: 841-6279
Eves: Turning down
federal health care dollars is worst deal for Maine people
Speaker Eves says LePage plays politics with health care
Good morning, Iím Speaker of the House Mark Eves
of North Berwick. Thank you for tuning in.
Weíve all heard stories about someone in our lives who has
struggled to pay for health care when they need it most Ė perhaps a friend, a
family member or a neighbor, or it may even be you.
If you walk into any corner store in Maine, youíre likely to see a
tin can on the counter to help raise money for someoneís surgery or health
care expenses. We hold bean suppers and community potlucks to cover sick
Mainers. We run races and pass the hat to fundraise for those who are
Now, the federal government is offering to help
take away the need for those tin cans. It will
pay for health care coverage for 70,000 hard working Maine people, who arenít
lucky enough to have jobs that provide health insurance.
But Governor LePage is
pushing them away.
Itís a good deal that we canít pass up: Turning
down these federal health care dollars would send the money to other states.
That's why Democratic and Republican Governors across the country have already
agreed to expand Medicaid in their states.
Let me make this clear: by not
accepting these federal dollars, Governor LePage is
making a bad deal -- the worst deal -- for the
people of Maine.
Now. Iím asking you to join me -- and nearly 70
percent of Maine people Ė to urge
Governor LePage to accept these federal health care
dollars -- and stop playing politics with peopleís health care.
Any business person would agree: itís a good
deal for Maine. It makes good fiscal
It will help bring health care costs down for EVERYONE.
Maine hospitals are required
by law to provide care to people without insurance. Often this care is in the
form of expensive emergency room visits that
could have been prevented with earlier and less expensive treatment. In the health care
industry, this is called charity care.
Charity care costs Maine hospitals $200 million
per year Ė and the costs keep going up.†
Hospitals pass these charity care costs to consumers, including the state
and individuals and businesses with private insurance -- driving up all of our
By accepting federal dollars we can significantly
reduce that charity care bill. We will lower the stateís costs for
Medicaid by $690 million dollars over the next 10 years, according to
non-partisan Kaiser Foundation estimates.
When more people have health care coverage,
costs go down for all of us.
If we are truly going to address our hospital
debt head on, we should accept these federal dollars. Maineís hospital debt is a
symptom of our high health care costs.
Democrats and Governor LePage
agree that we must make the final payment on our stateís debt
to hospitals. As we make a final payment on Maineís hospital debt,
Democrats believe we must also address the underlying problem that helped cause
canít just treat the symptom; we have to treat the problem.
accepting federal funds and covering more Mainers, we do just that. To address
only one of these elements would leave the job
me in urging Governor LePage
to accept federal health care dollars and cover more Maine
people. Call the Governorís Office at 287Ė3531 and tell him to
and stop playing politics with peopleís health care.
Thank you for listening; Iím
Speaker of the House Mark Eves. Have a wonderful day.
of the Speaker of the House