Dr. Lisa Letourneau as to why Medicaid expansion is in Maine’s interest (“The issues are complicated, but a yes vote on Question 2 will help Maine,” Oct. 20). Unfortunately, many voters aren’t swayed by the arguments about benefits to recipients. There are other important reasons that should be made clear.

First is the idea that Medicaid is just for poor people, children, the aged or people with disabilities. While these groups are the recipients, all Maine people benefit from Medicaid. For example:

1. Medicaid picks up costs such as “bad debt” that otherwise would be paid by private insurance.

2. Hospitals in geographic areas hard hit by poverty, and thus having more Medicaid recipients, are subsidized under “disproportionate share” rules.

3. Medicaid makes up a substantial portion of hospital costs. Many hospitals would close without it (and rural hospitals are already struggling).

I could go on with other examples, but perhaps a more direct appeal to voter self-interest will be more helpful. Some people may not understand that Medicaid recipients do not get money. The money goes to people who provide health care (doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, home health aides, etc.).

These medical service providers live in every community in the state. Their wages or fees are spent on goods and services in their communities. This money helps Maine communities to grow since most of it goes for the expenses of daily living, like groceries, clothes, housing, taxes, cars, recreation, etc. It is, then, an investment in ourselves.

It would be helpful if someone were to breakdown how much each community stands to receive under the proposed expansion. Knowing the enormous impact of these dollars on their town, would help people to understand how everyone benefits from the proposed expansion.

Dean Crocker

Manchester and Estero, Fla.