Most vulnerable at risk
To the editor:
I am deeply disappointed by the Health and Human Services Committee’s vote to reduce or even eliminate the state’s Medicare Savings Program (MSP).
MSP was designed to help the state’s most vulnerable citizens: low-income seniors and disabled adults. To consider balancing the budget by cutting these funds is short-sighted and fundamentally wrong.
Seniors in Maine are already struggling just to get by. More than a third of all those on Social Security in our state rely on their benefit for 100 percent of their income.
MSP makes it possible for such low-income adults and those living with disabilities to have access to their doctors.
Without MSP, the state also loses vital federal dollars that provide access to affordable prescription drugs for those who are eligible.
We hear that the state wants to protect programs for its neediest citizens. A vote like this does not support that mission.
The citizens of Maine are looking to the governor and to our legislators to come together and work toward solutions that make sense in their efforts to address the health care crisis.
Balancing that budget on the backs of those who have no have nowhere else to turn should not even be an option.
I urge the Legislature to rethink their decision about the Medicare Savings Program.
AARP Maine state director,