Win-win situations are rare. Luckily, our legislators and governor have an opportunity for one if they vote to accept federally funded health care for Maine’s uninsured.

This money already has been set aside for Maine in federal budgeting, so if Maine doesn’t take it, California, Iowa or some other state will get it.

As I think about it, it’s a win-win-win with money and creating 1,200 jobs being the first two parts. The rest is that voting to accept the federal money will help both middle-class Mainers who have health insurance and low-income Mainers who don’t.

Accepting the federal money will provide or maintain health insurance for nearly 70,000 Mainers who can’t afford it. This coverage will keep people out of emergency rooms and dramatically reduce rates of charity care for all hospitals in Maine.

The decreased cost of hospitals’ charity care means there will be less cost-shifting to those of us who have health insurance. The average ratepayer could save $1,000 a year.

So there we are: Voting to accept federally funded health care for Maine’s uninsured will bring about $250 million per year into Maine, create thousands of jobs, provide health care to almost 70,000 neighbors and friends, and lower the premiums of Mainers with health insurance. A win-win-win-win. It would be foolish not to do it.

Dale McCormick

Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network

Augusta

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