Waxaa qoray Alex Carter, Maine Equal Justice Policy Advocate
Waa maxay macnaha Maine si loo taageero dadka waddanka u soo guurey iyo kuwa doonaya bilow cusub iyo nabadgelyo cusub cadaadis, dagaal, iyo talisnimo? Way ka badan tahay furitaanka albaabadaheena – waxay ka dhigan tahay in la hubiyo in soogalootiga cusub ay saqafka saqafka madaxooda ka sareeyaan, awooda ay u leeyihiin inay ka shaqeeyaan oo ay u helaan adeegyada daryeelka caafimaad ee muhiimka ah ee wanaaggooda iyo miyir-beelka. Sanadkii la soo dhaafay, Gov. Janet Mills iyo Golaha Qanacnadu waxay ku baahday MaineCare loogu talagalay dadka uurka leh ee u qalma ee dakhligu iyo kuwa ka yar da’da 21, iyadoon loo eegayn heerka soogalootiga. Taasi waxay ka dhigan tahay in la bilaabayo 1222, inbadan oo ka mid ah kii ugu yar ee Maine, deganeyaasha dakhligoodu hooseeyo waxay xaq u yeelan doonaan inay iska diiwaangeliyaan caymiska caafimaad ee la awoodi karo iyada oo loo marayo MaineCare. Haddii aad u maleynaysid in adiga ama cunuggaagu aad xaq u yeelan kartid sanadka oo aadqabtid su’aalo ku saabsan qoritaanka Laga bilaabo Laga bilaabo Khadka Caawinta Daryeelka Daryeelka Caafimaadka ee la awoodi karo ee (800) 965-7476. Haddii aad aamminsan tahay in si qaldan loo diido MaineCare ama aad dhib ku qabtid isqorista, waxaad sidoo kale laxiriiri kartaa Maine Sint Cadaalad (866) 626-7059. Lambarkan waxaa ku jira ikhtiyaar si loo xusho luqadda aad doorbideyso
If you think you or your child may become eligible this year and you have questions about enrolling beginning in July, please call the Consumers for Affordable Health Care HelpLine at (800) 965-7476. If you believe you have been wrongfully denied MaineCare or have difficulty enrolling, you can also contact Maine Equal Justice at (866) 626-7059. This number includes an option to select your preferred language.
While the expansion of MaineCare to youth and pregnant people is cause for celebration, many immigrant adults still fall into the MaineCare coverage gap and cannot afford the healthcare they desperately need.
There are two opportunities during this short legislative session to right this wrong!
The first is the 2022 Supplemental Budget. Maine has a historic revenue surplus of approximately $1.233 million. A small portion of these funds could be used to extend MaineCare to adults who remain ineligible due to their immigration status, to provide cost-saving and lifesaving preventive, primary, and acute healthcare.
In early March, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee heard from members of the public on LD 1995, the Supplemental Budget bill. Hours of testimony on different parts of the budget included members of the public speaking passionately about the importance of healthcare coverage for immigrants.
The second opportunity to expand health care access for all Mainers is LD 718: An Act to Improve the Health of Maine Residents by Closing Coverage Gaps in the MaineCare Program and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This bill first appeared last year. If passed and funded, LD 718 would extend MaineCare benefits to immigrant adults, irrespective of their immigration status. Learn more about the bill in our fact sheet, under the “policy/healthcare” on www.maineequaljustice.org.
During last year’s public hearing for LD 718, immigrant community members and advocates told legislators their stories of pain and resilience and the impacts of lack of healthcare coverage on their lives, families, and businesses.
Rosy Ontiveros, a resident of Lewiston who assists others in her community without health insurance explained, “It’s very difficult for all the people who don’t go to the doctor for fear of not being attended to because of lack of ability to pay. …We have many stories of people who have broken bones and, because of not having access to health insurance, they have not sought the necessary therapies needed and the pain they experience is constant.”
Your voice really counts in making sure our neighbors, friends, and family who are immigrants have access to services like healthcare. Legislators need to know that their constituents support them when they do the right thing. To learn more and support LD 718, visit: maineequaljustice.org/get-involved/take-action/.
As Rosa Ontiveros told the HHS Committee, “I trust in you, and I think with your help we can win this.”