With the Legislature back in session, we need to continue discussion about expanding health care coverage to thousands of struggling Mainers.

Many of these people are between the ages of 50 and 64 who have lost their jobs. Some may be employed, but are still struggling without adequate coverage. It is time to take action. If there is a way to help hard-working Mainers get the health care coverage they need to get through tough times, then that is what the state should do.

Expanding health care coverage will give people without insurance access to preventive care that can save lives. Expanding health care coverage will help thousands of 50- to 64-year-old Mainers who have fallen into a coverage gap because they do not have access to subsidized coverage through the Affordable Care Act health exchanges. Why? Because our state failed to accept those federal dollars during the last legislative session.

Maine needs to do the right thing. It’s time to make a difference for our residents who, through no fault of their own, are living in fear of getting sick because they cannot afford health care coverage. That shouldn’t be acceptable. I am hoping that this time our elected leaders will work together to make the right decision and accept the federal dollars already set aside for Maine.

Rena HeathAARP Maine volunteerHallowell