As an Augusta resident and a nurse, I want my neighbors to understand the potential impact of a bill in the Maine Legislature that would bring significant new federal funding for health care to our state. Nearly 6,000 people in Kennebec County will be able to see their doctor regularly for check-ups and preventive care.

If we let these funds sit on the table in Washington, tens of thousands of Mainers, including 2,300 of our neighbors, will lose their coverage because of cuts previously enacted by the Maine Legislature.

If Maine does accept the funds, not only will thousands of people gain access to needed care, but our local and state economies will also get a much-needed boost. Our county alone stands to gain $43 million by 2016.

The economic ripple effects, as well as the need for many to access high quality, affordable care should make this an easy choice for our legislators. I hope they will do the right thing by continuing to support their constituents and accepting these federal health care dollars so that Kennebec County residents can have health care and more job opportunities.

Anne Lunt Augusta