The Augusta City Council has just begun our review of the city’s proposed 2015 budget, and already we have encountered an area where expanding Medicaid would save our city money. Allowing more people to be covered by Medicaid would increase the number of people whose insurance can pay the city for ambulance and Emergency Medical Services. This will lower our bad debt cost and put a downward pressure on property taxes.

By supporting the compromise bill on Medicaid expansion, our Augusta delegation is doing the right thing for our citizens and our cities and towns. They are to be commended for bucking partisan politics and supporting the compromise on Medicaid expansion. I encourage Republican Sens. Roger Katz of Augusta and Sen. Patrick Flood of Winthrop to join their colleagues in the House and support this bill when it comes back before them on Thursday.

If our legislators do succeed in overturning the inevitable veto from our governor, nearly 6,000 adults in Kennebec County alone will gain access to health insurance through the private market.

We, in the Kennebec Valley, are lucky that our hospital is on the cutting edge of what modern medicine is capable. Yet how do we expect MaineGeneral to stay on that cutting edge when it is forced to absorb the cost of emergency room care because so many Mainers have no access to insurance?

I urge all legislators, and especially those in Kennebec County, to put party politics aside and override the governor’s veto on Medicaid expansion on Thursday.

Dale McCormickAugusta

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