Tuesday, September 8, 2009


This Maine specific ACTION ALERT request comes from:
Jason Rosenbaum
Deputy Director of Online Campaigns
Health Care For America Now

Today, this week, and into the future, Senator Snowe is going to be hearing from her constituents.

Snowe, a member of the so-called Gang of Six on the Senate Finance Committee, which is under intense pressure to work out a compromise on the complex and potentially far-reaching legislation, coolly insists bipartisanship is the only answer. "It isn't a question of working with the Democrats," said Snowe, one of the three GOP negotiators. "It's working on a bipartisan basis to see if we can do the right thing for this country."

She would create a public health insurance option only if private insurers prove unwilling or unable to meet certain affordability targets. Nonprofit agencies, she proposes, would offer health insurance only if private insurers could not cover 95 percent of the people in their regions with plans costing no more than about 15 percent of a person's or a household's annual income.
It's good to know Senator Snowe is still open to negotiations in Washington. But it matters a lot more what people in Maine think about health reform.

Today, Lee Roberts, an insured cancer survivor from Alna, Maine went on the air with her story and a message for Senator Snowe, accompanied by radio ads, print ads, grassroots rallies, canvasses, phone calls, and press conferences:

There is no doubt that Mainers are hurting right now. Premiums in Maine are increasing almost six times faster than wages in the last seven years [pdf].

Families are paying over $1,000 more per year for health coverage. The situation is worse for businesses, who are paying well over $4,000 more per year per employee for coverage.

The two biggest insurers in Maine control 88% of the market [pdf], meaning Mainers have no choice when it comes to health insurance.

All this combines to squeeze Mainers hard: 70 are losing their insurance coverage every day [pdf].

Senator Snowe can fix this if she stands up for her constituents over the health insurance lobbyists. She can support health reform that lowers costs, improves coverage, and gives Mainers a choice of a public health insurance option that's national and available on day one to keep the insurance industry honest.

If you live in Maine, sign the petition to Senator Snowe urging her to do just that. Senator Snowe should negotiate for real health reform that helps her people back home. Because if the insurance industry wins when it comes to health reform, Mainers lose.

No comments: