Bill Supporting “Basic Patient Protections” Receives Support at Augusta Public Hearing

Wayside Food Programs Officers Along with Real Estate Volunteers Offer Food to Those Affected by Trump Shut Down at City Hall Yesterday. Far Left is Mary Zwelinski, Executive Director of Wayside and Front Center is Don Morison, Operations Manager for Wayside Food Program. Wayside Provides Food to 50 Agencies in Cumberland County, Including Preble Street. (PLease see post herein dated January 27, 2019 for more information).

A bill sponsored by President Troy Jackson (D – Allagash) and Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport) that would require insurance companies to include basic patient protections in health care plans offered in Maine, received support at a public hearing today. A representative of Governor Janet Mills also spoke in favor of the bill.

“If recent weeks have taught us anything, it is that we cannot put the fate of critical health care protections for tens of thousands of Mainers in the hands of someone else,” said Governor Mills in a press release issued today. “Mainers can do more to strengthen is laws protecting critical coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and other essential health benefits like mental health, maternity and newborn care. That’s why this administration is moving immediately, in concert with the Legislature, to help protect Mainers with pre-existing conditions, regardless of what happens at the federal level.”

“At the end of the day, quality, affordable health care coverage is about the freedom of Mainers to go about their lives without worrying what will happen if they get sick or injured. With the instability in Washington and around the country a bout the fate of the Affordable Care Act, I want Mainers, especially those with pre-existing conditions, to rest assured that we will protect their right to qualify care,” said President Jackson. “We still have a long way to go to make prescription drugs more affordable, close the distance between health care professionals and patients and close gaps in coverage. However, I am hopeful this bill will give Maine people peace of mind as we work to achieve these goals.”

In Maine, there are an estimated 230,000 non-elderly adults living with pre-existing conditions.