Sen. Doug Thomas, R-Ripley, recently wrote a letter to the editor describing MaineCare expansion as the most expensive issue in the State House. What he failed to mention is the expansion is made possible by already available federal funding and, coupled with the Affordable Care Act, is intended to save money for the people of Maine for the long term.

He is incorrect in stating that all childless adults ages 19-64 can qualify for a federal subsidy under the ACA. Under current law, these individuals are often not subsidized, and it would be more affordable for Maine if they qualified for MaineCare — if Thomas and his colleagues accept the available federal funds.

Thomas also states that people who would benefit from MaineCare expansion “could work if they wanted to.” He does not take into consideration those who are unable to work, unable to find jobs, or working jobs where they are underpaid and uninsured.

Wouldn’t it be better if we lived in a community where we teach our children to value the lives of all people? We can show support by accepting this bill and providing health care for 70,000 residents whose lives are on the line. The first step in creating a brighter future for Maine’s people is to recognize access to affordable health care as a human right. Thomas’ vote against MaineCare is a vote against the very people whose rights he was elected to represent and protect.

Elise LehotskyPortland