My wife and I suffer form multiple illnesses. My Crohn’s disease caused me to collapse recently in my own living room. So far, we’ve been able to take care of each other and ourselves. But it would be a great relief if we knew home care was available if we needed it.

That’s why I’m voting yes this fall on Question 1, the universal home care initiative. It would guarantee home care for every elderly and disabled Mainer who requires it, whatever their income. That would relieve a lot of pressure from spouses and adult children who now frequently exhaust themselves and their resources caring for a loved one with special needs.

The service would be paid for by a small tax exclusively on individual incomes above $128,400 in the first year of the program, with the figure rising in future years along with inflation. This seems like a reasonable funding source for such a needed service.

Like a lot of people, my wife and I have high standards for who works in our house. Question 1 would help professionalize the job of home care worker with better pay, benefits and training.

Maine already has the oldest population in the nation and will keep getting older. Any one of us could suddenly need home care, but only a small fraction know how they would pay for it. Question 1 addresses a pressing problem in a serious and fair way. This November, everyone should vote for Question 1, the universal home care initiative.

Howard Brown


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