The federal government is ready to invest more than $700 million in Maine to expand health care coverage, creating more than 3,000 jobs in our state’s health care sector. The three-year cost to Maine for this health care expansion and job creation is less than $1 million, according to a nonpartisan analysis by the Legislature’s Office of Fiscal and Program Review. It would save many of our vulnerable ill citizens from bankruptcy.

Yet the governor and his allies in the Legislature are willing to let this opportunity pass us by and forgo $900,000 per day in federal investment in Maine because of overzealous ideological and partisan opposition to the federal Affordable Care Act.

As a physician, I think it is a grave mistake to make decisions affecting the health and the very lives of Mainers based on strident adherence to a political point of view.

Sen. Roger Katz and Reps. Matt Pouliot and Corey Wilson are Republican lawmakers from Augusta who deserve our thanks for breaking with the governor and voting to expand access to health care for 70,000 Mainers. Hopefully, more lawmakers on their side of the aisle can be convinced to take advantage of this opportunity before it is too late.

Michael SzelaAugusta