On Nov. 7, Maine voters will decide the fate of Question 2, whether or not we should expand Medicaid coverage to men and women with no children who are able to work. To me, this is common sense. As the most forested state in the country, we know as well as anyone that money doesn’t grow on trees, we do not have an unlimited supply of money. Do we want to protect our elderly and disabled or do we start handing out freebees to able-bodied men and women with no children?

My senior parents are one example of the people who will be hurt if Question 2 passes. They’ve lived in Maine and paid taxes here for 40 years. They are the people that Medicaid was designed to help. They and their friends already have to endure incredibly long waits for their medical appointments, should this pass, and able-bodied working age adults get added to the mix, those waits will be much longer.

And this isn’t the only way in which this referendum is threatening to harm the elderly. When Maine expanded Medicaid back in 2004, it caused massive fiscal problems in the state. In order to try to fill some of those budget holes, the Maine Legislature, with Democrat majorities in both houses and a Democrat governor, opted to slash funding for Maine’s nursing homes. They also took severely physically and developmentally disabled Mainers desperate for critical services and stuck them on the notorious Baldacci waitlists in order to free up money to pay for their welfare expansion.

Let’s not make the same mistake again. Vote no on Question 2.

Rep. Joel Stetkis

R-Canaan