Mainers really spoke up at the state house on Dec. 14 in strong reaction to Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed budget cuts. These cuts would have an extremely negative impact for thousands of us across the state.

I testified on behalf of the 72,000 residents who are in the Medicare Savings Program or MSP. I can only hope that the members of the Appropriations Committee were listening and heard what I had to say.

If the MSP is cut, medical care and prescription drug coverage will end for 72,000 low-income seniors and adults with disabilities. Several years ago, legislators from both sides of the aisle approved the MSP for those on low, fixed incomes who were older than 65 and on Medicare or had disabilities.

We were pleased that the Legislature decided that it was better for our seniors and more cost-effective to pay for them to be part of this important program. MSP covers Part B premiums for Medicare, which pays for all doctor visits, preventive care, screenings and outpatient care and costs.

The other great part about the MSP is that the federal government pays Medicare Part D prescription drug premiums for all eligible members so they have access to low-cost prescription drugs. What a great thing for seniors living on a low, fixed income of under $14,500.

Will 72,000 Maine people lose access to their doctors and their prescription drugs? What a nightmare that would create for our neighbors, our friends and our families.

Richard Farnsworth, chairman

AARP Maine Capitol City Task Force


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