The Veterans and Legal Affairs committee passed a comprehensive measure that would make a final payment on Maine’s hospital debt and reduce future hospital costs by accepting federal health care dollars to cover tens of thousands of Mainers. The hospital payment would be made through refinancing the state’s liquor contract. The bill passed in a vote of 7-5.
A number of significant reforms that Congresswoman Chellie Pingree authored as part of her Local Farms Food and Jobs Act were adopted this week by the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. The Committees, controlled by Democrats in the Senate and Republicans in the House, voted in favor of two versions of a Farm Bill that contain Pingree’s reforms designed to open new markets for sustainable farmers and increase consumer access to local food. The Farm Bill passed the Senate Committee on Tuesday and the House Committee late last night.
The Legislature on Wednesday took the first step toward crafting a comprehensive bill to make the final payment on Maine’s hospital debt and to have the state accept federal health care dollars to expand coverage to thousands of residents.
“As the Legislature makes the final payment to Maine’s hospitals, we must also address the underlying problem of our high hospital costs,” said Speaker of the House Mark Eves. “To do one without the other would leave the job half done. We can’t just treat the symptom; we have to treat the problem.”
Earlier today, the Senate voted in a party-line vote of 20-15 to pass a measure that would include social workers among the professions who currently receive loan forgiveness if they work and live in Maine.
“All we need to do is look at the Department of Health and Human Services, which has a chronic shortage of social workers,” said Senator Rebecca Millett. “Social workers watch over our abused children, and help put Maine families in crisis back together. They do jobs that save lives, and this bill will allow more social workers to stay in Maine and do their good work.”
Last week on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative (MYTC) played an integral role in launching Success Beyond 18, a national campaign to create a better path for young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood.
The Maine House gave unanimous initial support this morning to Rep. Lori Fowle’s measure providing transportation to disabled veterans who aren’t able to visit their doctors on their own.
“A big part of helping veterans get access to health care is making sure they are able to travel to see their doctors when they need to,” said Rep. Fowle. “When money is tight, or when friends and family aren’t around to provide a ride, there needs to be a stopgap so nobody slips through the cracks. It’s really the least we can do.”
A new statewide poll released today shows that Maine voters overwhelmingly support accepting Affordable Care Act (ACA) federal dollars to expand access to health care for nearly 69,500 Mainers who are currently uninsured.
Today the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union announced unfair labor practice charges against the Wellness Connection of Maine (WCM) while simultaneously supporting legislation that protects medical cannabis workers on the job and strengthens supply chain regulations.