I agree wholeheartedly with the letter, “Medicare Savings Program needed by 72,000 in Maine” by Richard Farnsworth, chairman, AARP Maine Capitol City Task Force, on Dec. 23.

One thing I think is missing, however, is that cutting the Maine Savings Program will not only affect the 72,000 who get assistance from it, but all Mainers as well.

MSP is a preventive measure; it helps to keep people healthy. If the 72,000 low-income seniors and adults with disabilities no longer have access to preventative health care, their health will suffer. That means more people will visit the emergency room or be hospitalized for conditions that could have been prevented.

It is much cheaper to provide preventive health care than to treat the resulting disabling illness. The increased cost of treating preventable illnesses will fall to the taxpayer in increased taxes and increased health care premiums.

If the appropriations committee decides to cut MSP, everyone’s taxes and health care costs will go up. The only way this will not happen is if we can look a person in the face and tell them we are not going to treat their illness because they are poor.

Jesus asked, “Who among you will cast the first stone?” Who among us will be the first to let a person die because they are poor?

Providing health care for all while reducing health care costs for all is exactly what the Obama administration is doing with the Affordable Health Care Act. If a Republican is elected president in 2012 the AHCA may very well be eliminated.

To quote Mr. Farnsworth, “What a nightmare that would create for our neighbors, our friends and our families.”

Tom Waddell

Litchfield


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