With high premiums and overpriced prescription medication, health care is becoming out of reach for too many working families and seniors.

Our state representatives can do something about it by passing LD 1463: An Act To Make Health Care Coverage More Affordable for Working Families and Small Businesses. This bill would continue the federal healthcare assessment (HIA) on a state level and use the new revenue to make healthcare more affordable.

Tell the Maine legislature: Please support An Act To Make Health Care Coverage More Affordable For Working Families And Small Businesses (LD 1463).

The federal HIA was a fee that private insurance companies paid to access the healthcare market - by paying this fee, they could expand their customer base.

When this fee ended under the Trump administration, private insurance companies saw their profits soar. Meanwhile, Mainers and people all over the country are struggling to afford the basic care they need to be healthy.

LD 1463 would continue this assessment on the state level, which could bring in around $30 million in revenue for the state. Sign here to tell your representatives to pass LD 1463!

This revenue stream could be used to fund programs to lower premiums or reduce out-of-pocket costs for Mainers. It also will help close the “family glitch.”

The family glitch affects thousands of working families who can’t afford a family plan offered through an employer, but because the employed family member can afford a self-only plan, the rest of the family loses eligibility for marketplace subsidies.

Every single person deserves affordable and quality health care. Period. Continuing the Health Insurance Assessment at the state level will help Maine achieve that.

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Maine is known for its hard workers. Salaried workers are no exception; with many working from home during this pandemic, it’s easier than ever for their working hours to bleed into personal time.

While these employees work longer and longer hours, wages have stagnated. Many aren’t even eligible for overtime pay when their workweeks extend beyond 40 hours.

Long before this pandemic, worker protections were decimated. It’s crucial to restore them, not just for our recovery, but for the long-term economic health of our state. That’s why we’re grateful for Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross, who is fighting to expand overtime protections for hard-working Mainers.

As it stands, professional and administrative salaried employees earning more than $36,000 annually are completely exempt from overtime laws in Maine. Unless their employer directly provides overtime, many of these workers are forced to go without it entirely.

Rep. Talbot Ross’s new bill, An Act to Restore Overtime Protections for Maine Workers, would provide overtime pay to more workers in Maine, annually increasing the minimum salary threshold qualifying an employee for overtime pay until it reaches $55,224 by the year 2024.

Maine has some of the hardest working people in the country, and they deserve to be paid adequately for their time on the job.. Thank you, Rep. Talbot Ross, for standing up for working Mainers!

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Smart Solutions For Healthy Communities, a coalition led by Consumers For Affordable Health Care and Mainers For Working Families, announced support for the Making Health Care Work for Maine package of bills currently under consideration by the Maine legislature.

The bill package addresses ever-increasing health care costs, prescription drug price gouging, and creates an insulin safety net program, and makes drug pricing more transparent.

Sign here to tell your legislators to support Making Health Care Work for Maine.

“Working families, seniors, and young people struggle with huge deductibles with limited coverage and increasing out-of-pocket costs for medication that keeps them alive and healthy. This health care package will help to address dangerous flaws in our healthcare system, and ensure that Mainers have access to affordable, quality care,” said Evan LeBrun, executive director of Mainers For Working Families.

“We hear from people every day who are struggling with the cost of health care and who struggle to access the health care and prescription drugs they need. The Making Health Care Work for Maine package takes a comprehensive approach to address concerns Mainers have about rising costs,” said Ann Woloson, executive director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care.

Sign here to show your support for comprehensive and affordable healthcare services.

The public hearing on Tuesday drew broad support from health care advocates and Mainers all over the state.

Bonnie from Appleton spoke of her son, who was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s Disease and rheumatoid arthritis. His Remicade infusions, which he would die without, cost roughly $78,000 before insurance.

“When my son was first diagnosed I was working 4 jobs and had health insurance through my employer, but the coverage was not good… Each and every year, we have had to pay over $10,000 or more toward the deductibles and copays, and have hit the maximums every year,” Bonnie said. “We’re going to be dealing with this medical debt for the rest of our lives.”

Leo from Waterville gives his testimony at public hearing

Leo from Waterville, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at two and a half, spoke about what it was like to live with the autoimmune disease.

“I’m only 14, and there’s a lot about diabetes that I don’t have to worry about yet, but I know I will when I’m older,” he said.

It’s not my fault that I have Type 1 Diabetes, and it’s not right for companies to take advantage of me. My life depends on insulin.”

Kate from Portland spoke on behalf of Consumers for Affordable Healthcare and her son, Nate.

“As a mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes whose life depends on the availability of injectable insulin. … Insulin is incredibly expensive,” she said. “Of the 25 costliest drugs in the most recent report of the Maine Health Data Organization, eight are insulin products.”

The public hearing can be viewed at

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© 2019 Mainers for Working Famililes
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