Maine people deserve better

12 years ago

To the editor:
One of the reasons I decided to run for State Representative was because I am frustrated, like many of you, by the hyper partisan, divisive language in Augusta. I am also frustrated by seeing and hearing politicians continually misrepresent facts, wage accusations, and mislead everyday Mainers like you and me in order to push their own ideological agenda. We know we’ve come to a sad day in Maine when you can no longer trust those crafting and making decisions on behalf of the state.
    My opponent for the legislature, State Rep. Joyce Fitzpatrick, recently exemplified the reasons for my frustrations in a column on health care. The column, accused congresswoman Pingree of “sabotage” without any supporting facts, and repeated a set of campaign talking points on health care in Maine that are misleading and simply not true. This is disturbing and frustrating, and Maine people deserve better.
Right now, we face a crisis. The cost of health care is skyrocketing and you don’t need me to tell you that. Most of us see it every day. Though Rep. Fitzpatrick claims costs are going down – that simply isn’t accurate. Just ask the small business owners throughout Maine who are opening up their health insurance bills to find out their premium costs have increased by as much a 60 percent because of health insurance “reform” passed by Rep. Fitzpatrick and her colleagues last year – reform that she didn’t mention puts a tax on working Mainers that goes in the coffers of health insurance companies. Just ask the Maine workers who opted into Anthem’s new “less expensive” health insurance plan that Rep. Fitzpatrick touted as a success in her column and find out that “less expensive” means less coverage and more out of pocket expenses. Just ask the man from Amity who was recently cited in a column in one of Maine’s daily papers, who worked hard his entire life until crippling circulatory issues in his legs forced him into unemployment. He’s one of the 27,000 people who will lose coverage in Maine because of cuts Rep. Fitzpatrick proudly talked about in her column. To her, the cuts are “progress.” To him, the cuts mean choosing between paying for medication or losing his leg.
To me, the fact that Rep. Fitzpatrick felt the need to mislead the people of Maine in order to justify her decisions in the Statehouse shows just how misguided her priorities as a lawmaker are, because misrepresenting the facts, blaming others, or accusing those who are just trying to help of sabotage doesn’t do anything to actually make Mainers health insurance costs decrease. Neither does denying care to 27,000 Mainers or passing legislation that deems some people worthy of care while others are not.
If we really want to fix our health care crisis by ensuring every family has a family doctor, we can only get there by working together and being honest about the struggles we face because no one person or one party can solve our health care problems on our own. Those solutions can only be found if we elect lawmakers who will put aside political gamesmanship and instead roll up their sleeves and do the hard work of finding real solution for the people of Maine.

Mike Jenkins