ANA-Maine statement on proposed MaineCare cuts January 2012, re-posted

reprinting this here as a public service.

will chime in with my own two cents, in a separate entry.

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American Nurses Association – Maine Position on Proposed Maine Care Cuts to Beneficiaries
1
January 3, 2012
For Immediate Release: Contact Irene Eaton-Bancroft and Juliana L’Heureux
American Nurses Association of Maine
Cuts to eligibility for 65,000 Maine Care Beneficiaries

Position Statement on Governor Paul LePage’s Proposed Supplemental Budget
As presented to the Second Regular Session of the 125th Maine Legislature
The American Nurses Association- Maine is a constituent of the American Nurses Association (ANA).
ANA-Maine supports the right of every person to have access to quality and affordable health care throughout their life span, regardless of their socio-economic status. Access to health care is a basic human right of all people (ANA-Issues Brief: 2010)
The mission of the American Nurses Association is to advance the practice of nursing by improving the access to quality health care for all people.
For these reasons, the ANA-Maine supports access to health care for the proposed 65,000 people currently targeted for removal from the Maine Care benefit, as per the Supplemental Budget proposed by Governor Paul LePage, to the Second Regular Session of the 125th Maine Legislature.
Maine Care is an essential safety net for low income eligible people who include
(a) frail elderly living alone or in assisted living
(b)serious and persistently mentally ill
(3) people living with disabilities, and
(4) children.
Even without Maine Care coverage provided for eligible beneficiaries, an estimated 10 percent of Maine people still have no health insurance whatsoever. (Morning Sentinel- Kennebec Journal: Alice Knapp; January 2, 2012)
Removing another 65,000 people from the Maine Care benefit, without providing for their health care coverage, will unjustly cause further strain on Maine’s health care providers, many of them already facing deficits due to low reimbursement from insurers. .
American Nurses Association – Maine Position on Proposed Maine Care Cuts to Beneficiaries
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Additionally, the ANA-Maine is concerned about how the proposed Maine Care cuts are being considered and evaluated given the following impact information:
1. Cutting 65,000 people from the Maine Care benefit will impact on every community in Maine by putting at risk the public health and safety of people who will be without access to health care.
2. Providing health care to uncovered individuals will immediately lead to a rise in health care costs for charitable institutions, where the indigent will seek urgent help; as well as to hospitals, that will be forced to pass the cost of increasing amounts of free care to their private insurers and private paying clients.
3. Although cutting 65,000 beneficiaries out of the Maine Care benefit is a short term solution to growth in the program, in the long term, these proposed cuts will end up increasing the utilization of more expensive, and less supportive, or proactive services, like prevention and wellness initiatives.
4. Maine citizens who are currently employed in community health organizations where Maine Care beneficiaries are receiving primary care and social services, will loose their jobs. The quality and the integrity of many excellent community health programs and mental health facilities will be at risk as a result of high staff turnover.

Please contact the American Nurses Association of Maine for more information regarding our position on the Maine Care benefits cuts to 65,000 people as proposed in the Governor’s Supplemental Budget to the Second Regular Session of the 125th Maine Legislature.

Contact Information:
Irene Eaton-Bancroft, President ANA-Maine
ieatonbanc@roadrunner.com
Juliana L’Heureux
Chair, Legislative Committee
ANA-Maine
Juliana@mainewriter.com

 

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