Letter: Accept federal funding to expand MaineCare

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As a cancer survivor and volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, I urge the Legislature to accept the millions of dollars of federal funding being offered to Maine to increase access to health coverage through MaineCare, our state’s Medicaid program.

Hard-working, low-income families managing a chronic disease like cancer need the security of knowing they have quality health coverage so they can see a doctor regularly and get life-saving care when they need it, without facing huge medical bills.

The Legislature should leverage the federal funding to provide life-saving health coverage to nearly 70,000 low-income individuals and families in Maine.

In 2013, an estimated nearly 9,200 Mainers will be diagnosed with cancer and more than 3,200 people will die from the disease. Improving access to MaineCare coverage will increase the probability that diseases like cancer are found early, resulting in lower medical costs and an increased likelihood of survival.

I’m one of the 13.7 million people living with cancer in this country. Simply having access to care most likely saved my life. Everyone deserves the same.

I strongly encourage our state lawmakers to accept the federal money to cover more people and save taxpayer dollars.

Jeff Bennett