Archive for March 19th, 2014

Complete Video Record of Maine House Debates LD 1487, “An Act To Implement Managed Care in the MaineCare Program”

Posted on March 19, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

In chronological order, here are clips from this week’s House floor debate on LD 1487, “An Act To Implement Managed Care in the MaineCare Program”. The bill passed the chamber, but as in the Senate last week, narrowly failed to garner a veto proof majority.

Whenever possible, the full text of the prepared remarks has been linked to each clip; for others, either direct quotes or summaries as provided by House Democratic legislative aides online has been shared.

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HHS Chair Rep. Dick Farnsworth (D-Portland) Presents LD 1487

Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) supporting LD 1487

Rep. Deb Sanderson (R-Chelsea) opposing LD 1487 (pt 1)

Rep. Louis Luchini (D-Ellsworth) supporting LD 1487

Asst. Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan) in support of LD 1487 (full prepared remarks HERE)

    Rep. McCabe thanks lawmakers for this bipartisan effort. “This bipartisan health care bill can make a different to 70,000 Mainers — Our friends, our family, our neighbors.”

    Rep. Jeff McCabe on economic benefits of health care expansion: “Why not these jobs? Why not now? ”

Rep. Paul McGowan (D-York) supporting LD 1487

    Rep. Paul McGowan on health problems he had: “I had that health experience with the security of health insurance. Everybody in this chamber has the security of health insurance.”

    Rep. Paul McGowan: “Can you imagine living in a society where if your house caught on fire and you called the fire department, and they said I’m sorry, you don’t qualify?”

Rep. Helen Rankin (D-Hiram) supporting LD 1487

    Rep. Helen Rankin: “Our veterans who have sacrificed everything. Do we really turn away from them? I think not.”

    Rep. Rankin: “Who made us God to decide about the lives of these people who are so desperate? … I think it’s time for us to pay it forward.”

Rep. Heather Sirocki (R-Scarborough) opposing LD 1487 (pt 1)

Rep. Matt Pouliot (R-Augusta) supporting LD 1487

    Rep. Matt Pouliot: “This bill is a valiant attempt to find a middle ground, incorporating many principles that are important to me. … I will be supporting this motion.”

Rep. Craig Hickman (D-Winthrop) supporting LD 1487, pt 1

Rep. Craig Hickman (D-Winthrop) supporting LD 1487, pt 2

    Rep. Craig Hickman reading from a constituent letter: “Are we really going to let these people down and say tough luck you’re on your own?… We are a better nation than that. We are a more compassionate people than that.”

House Majority Leader Seth Berry (D-Bowdoinham) in support of LD 1487 (full prepared remarks HERE)

    Rep. Seth Berry: “Health care expansion makes good business sense. There’s also the human cost of denying health care to 70,000 Mainers.”

    Rep. Berry on his younger brother: “He is one of the most hardworking Mainers you’ll ever meet. He is one of the Mainers who fall into the coverage gap caused by our failure to expand health care.”

Rep. Bobbi Beavers (D-S Berwick) in support of LD 1487

    Rep. Roberta Beavers : “In York County alone, about 82 hundred more people will gain access to health care. An additional $43 million will be spent each year on health care services by 2016, stimulating about $59 million in additional economic activity and 513 new jobs in my county.”

Rep. Amy Volk (R-Scarborough) opposing LD 1487

Rep. Anne Graham (D- N Yarmouth) supporting LD 1487 (full remarks here)

    “The argument that that everyone should go on the exchange is false. Yes, one can purchase an insurance plan for $50 per month with a $2,5000 deductable. When one makes less than $12,000 a year, this is an impossibility. Once again, lose your life or lose your livelihood. I ask, what choice would you make?

    It saddens me deeply that this debate has become more about politics than about people.”

Rep. Dennis Keschl (R-Belgrade) opposing LD 1487

Rep. Dr. Jane Pringle (D-Windham) supporting LD 1487

    Rep. Jane Pringle, a retired doctor on why she’s in the Legislature: “I have watched the number of patients without health care grow. I have seen too many patients who could not get the health care they need until they were in crisis.”

    Rep. Pringle: “Imagine coming to me as your doctor with chest pain. And I say, ‘Have you worked hard enough today for me to give you health care?'”

    Rep. Pringle on the lack of belief in a system that will increase access, lower costs for all and save lives: “We have the power to do this. We just have to make this choice.”

Rep. Paulette Beaudoin (D-Biddeford) supporting LD 1487

Rep. Richard Malaby (R-Hancock) opposing LD 1487

Rep. Josh Plante (D-Berwick) supporting LD 1487

Rep. Dr. Ann Dorney (D-Norridgewock) supporting LD 1487

    Another patient of Rep. Dorney lost health coverage, ran out of insulin and ended up in the ICU with dangerously high blood sugars. The hospital gave her some insulin when she was well enough to leave.

Rep. Bernard Ayotte (R-Caswell) opposing LD 1487

Rep. Sheryl Briggs (D-Mexico) supporting LD 1487

Rep. Lisa Villa (D-Harrison) supporting LD 1487

Rep. Brian Jones (D-Freedom) supporting LD 1487 (full prepared remarks HERE)

    Rep. Brian Jones on health care needs in the community: “The collection plate in church and the donation jar in the store have demonstrated they cannot completely fulfill this purpose. Nor can directives to get a better job.”

Rep. Dr. Janice Cooper (D-Yarmouth) supporting LD 1487

Rep. Gay Grant (D-Gardiner) supporting LD 1487

Rep. Steve Moriarty (D-Portland) supporting LD 1487

Rep. Tom Longstaff (D-Waterville) supporting LD 1487

Rep. Nate Libby (D-Lewiston) supporting LD 1487

Rep. Katherine Cassidy (D-Lubec) supporting LD 1487 (full prepared remarks HERE)

    Rep. Katherine Cassidy about constituent with cancer: “They already put a portion of cancer treatment on their daughter’s credit card.”

Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) supporting LD 1487

Rep. James Campbell (U-Newfield) supporting LD 1487

Rep. Heather Sirocki (R-Scarborough) opposing LD 1487 (pt 2)

Questions posed through the Speaker during LD 1487 floor debate

Rep. Dick Campbell (R-Orrington) opposing LD 1487

Rep. Karen Kusiak (D-Fairfield) supporting LD 1487

Rep. Drew Gattine (D-Westbrook) supporting LD 1487

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Rep. Brian Jones (D-Freedom) on LD 1487 Opposition: “I got mine; good luck getting yours”

Posted on March 19, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Here is video of are Rep. Jones’ floor speech and transcribed remarks as prepared for delivery.

Mr. Speaker, men and women of the House,

I rise to speak to the decisions that we must make and the actions that we must take, in light of the conflict between what we earnestly believe the right thing to do is and what we realistically can accomplish, between the ideal and the real constraints under which we work.

Is the legislation before us perfect? Of course not. Is it the best we can do for our citizens on this day, given its imperfections and our differences? Yes. Is there a viable alternative plan before us today? No.

I rise to speak of the values of the citizens I represent, and these values are visible and their benefits are tangible for all in our community to see.

Mr. Speaker, the citizens that I represent volunteer as firefighters and emergency medical personnel; we volunteer to teach the illiterate to read; we keep jumper cables, a chain, and a bucket of sand in our pickups to help those who have gone off the road in the winter. And we help the so-called worthy and the unworthy equally.

We collect donations and provide heating fuel for our neighbors, because we believe that no one should be cold in the winter. We have a vibrant volunteer food pantry, and we have community gardens because we believe no one should go hungry. And, we place a jar on the counter of our local general store to collect donations for a family who’s experienced misfortune or, most relevantly to this discussion, illness.

That every one of our fellow human beings should be healed when sick is a belief I know, Mr. Speaker, we all share. It’s essential to our nature of empathy and our understanding of compassion. But the collection plate in church and the donation jar in the general store have demonstrated they cannot completely fulfill this purpose. Nor have the directives to “work harder” or “get a better job” met this need.

We have heard today that we cannot afford, we do not have the money, to provide this remedy for our fellow men and women. Mr. Speaker, we cannot serve two masters: we will hate one and love the other; or we will be devoted to one and despise the other. Mr. Speaker, either we serve the master of compassion or we serve the master of money. We choose today whom we will serve, the master of benevolence or the master of selfishness, and today eternity is witness to our actions.

Mr. Speaker, the worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy and a government lacking a truly human purpose. We have drunk from the fountainhead of personal enrichment and the philosophy of “I got mine; good luck getting yours.”

Mr. Speaker, heaven have mercy on my soul if, on my travels from Jerusalem to Jericho, I pass by on the other side of the road when I see a man, beaten and naked in the ditch.

Mr. Speaker, the dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all of our policies, even if the instrument before us is imperfect.

Mr. Speaker, I ask each member of this body to consider his or her conscience and faith when we vote.

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House Majority Leader Seth Berry (D-Bowdoinham) in support of LD 1487: Expansion is “Economic Shot in Arm” for Maine

Posted on March 19, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Video from 3/18/14 and remarks as prepared for delivery on LD 1487, “An Act To Implement Managed Care in the MaineCare Program”. The bill passed the House by a 07-49 vote.



Mr. Speaker; men and women of the House. I rise in favor of the pending motion.

As House chair of the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future, I would like to draw your attention to the economic benefits of this measure. Health care expansion fits perfectly with the major focus of our workforce panel: high-demand, high-wage jobs, the jobs of tomorrow.

If Maine accepts the federal health care dollars, we say “yes” to 4,400 jobs. Most of these are in the health care sector. They are good-paying jobs where workers earn enough to more than cover the basics, jobs where they earn enough to spend on local businesses and boost other sectors of our economy.

Maine is lagging behind the nation in job creation. We’re at the back of the pack.
This bill is that economic shot in the arm. If we accept the federal government’s offer, we would inject money into our economy. My own Sagadahoc County would see an additional $8 million annually, which in turn would stimulate another $3 million in additional economic activity.

Health care expansion makes good business sense.

There’s also a great human cost of denying health care to 70,000 Mainers. This is not an abstract issue, it’s one that’s close to home. For all of us. If we fail, we will see the results vividly and in some cases, tragically.

My younger brother is a logger and a farmer. He is as hardworking a Mainer as you’ll meet. He is also one of the Mainers who fall into the coverage gap created by the failure to expand health care. I worry about him. An accident could be both physically and financially disastrous.

One time, he was alone doing some tree work and the branch he was on broke. He came crashing down fifteen feet and landed on his chainsaw. It wasn’t running, but its chain was well sharpened and his forearm was nicely opened up. He bled profusely, and needed stitches. Frankly, it was a miracle he didn’t die. If my brother is injured again, whether while baling hay or working with his oxen or felling trees, I want to know he has health care.

If he doesn’t feel right and develops a condition, I also don’t want him to put it off until it becomes worse — more serious, more expensive, more dangerous to him and to our health care system. I want him to have access to preventive care, so he is healthier and we don’t all pay more for him later in our insurance rates.

Please join me in supporting this motion.

Let’s give Maine this shot in the arm. And Mr. Speaker, men and women of the House, let’s do it together.

I urge you to follow my light. Thank you.

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Asst Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan) in support of LD 1487: “Good deal for Maine, one that we can’t afford to give up”

Posted on March 19, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Video and remarks as prepared for delivery.

Mr. Speaker, men and women of the House, I rise in support of the pending motion.

I want to recognize all the bipartisan effort that went into this measure. Thank you Mr. Speaker for your tireless work to provide 70,000 Mainers with the security of health care coverage. Thank you to the lawmakers, especially our Republican colleagues across the aisle, who see the value of providing access to a family doctor for more Maine people.

This bipartisan health care bill can make all the difference to 70,000 Mainers – our friends, family and neighbors. Mainers who work hard in jobs without health coverage, veterans who have more than earned such coverage through their service to our country.

Right now, the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation is downstairs. Health care expansion will help people with M-S. It will serve Mainers with one of the most expensive chronic diseases, a disease that often forces them to stop working.

This bill is good for them and tens of thousands of other Mainers.

And it’s good for economy. It will result in more than $1 million of economic activity per day. It would create 4,400 jobs.

This is good news when Maine’s job creation is sorely lagging. This is good news particularly for rural Maine, which needs the economy really needs the boost.

In Somerset County, where I live, 3,590 Maine people would gain access to health care. This bill would create more than 200 new jobs in a county where unemployment is higher than the state as a whole. This bill would lead to $19 million in health care spending that would stimulate another $23 million in additional economic activity.

Aroostook County would see 4,615 people gain coverage, 280 news jobs and $25 million in annual health care spending that would lead to another $31 million more in economic activity.

And here in Kennebec County, we would see some more impressive results. 6,000 more Maine people with health care, 367 new jobs and $32 million in health care spending that could spur $43 million more in additional economic activity.

This is a good deal for Maine, one that we can’t afford to pass up.

I urge you to consider how much our state, your districts and constituents would gain from the federal government’s offer.

I know that this decision weighs especially heavily on several of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

I urge you to vote in support of the pending motion. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Jared Golden Announces Candidacy for Lewiston House District 60

Posted on March 19, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Via press release:

    Jared Golden announces candidacy for State House
    Veteran is dedicated to continuing public service in Lewiston

Jared Golden PhotoLEWISTON – Jared Golden, a Maine veteran, has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to the Maine House of Representatives for Lewiston’s new District 60.

Golden’s priorities are to ensure that Mainers can earn a livable wage, to expand educational opportunities for all ages, to help veterans build new careers and successful lives after service and to encourage civility and a positive outlook for Maine and the Lewiston community.

“I want to help people improve their lives and communities,”
said Golden, a Leavitt Area High School and Bates College graduate. “Access to a quality education and a chance to work hard and earn a decent living are necessary for creating equal opportunities for people to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals in life.”

Golden, 31, served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps with deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. After his military service he lived in Lewiston, worked at his parent’s small business in Leeds and studied at Bates College with his Department of Veterans Affairs education benefits.

Golden is running for the House seat that is currently held by Rep. Nate Libby, who last month announced his candidacy for the State Senate. Libby is endorsing Golden for the House seat.

“Jared Golden is an accomplished public servant and is exceptionally qualified for this office,” said Libby. “He’s honest, compassionate and dedicated—I know he’ll serve Lewiston well in the Legislature.”

Former Rep. Dick Wagner, who represented the district before Libby, is serving on Golden’s campaign.

“I look forward to seeing Jared represent Lewiston in Augusta,” said Wagner. “I know he’ll bring the same dedication and energy to serving Lewiston as he did to serving our country.”

Golden has also received endorsements from Lewiston’s Sen. Margaret Craven and Reps. Mike Carey, Michel Lajoie, Peggy Rotundo and Wayne Werts.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in life and the help I’ve received along the way,”
said Golden. “I believe in giving back and I’ll work hard for the people of Lewiston.”

While earning his degree at Bates, Golden served in the Marine Corps Reserves and also volunteered at a school in Afghanistan. After Bates he returned to Afghanistan and Iraq to work in the international logistics industry.

In 2011, Golden accepted a position on the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee. He most recently served as a legislative aide for Democrats in the State House where he gained experience that will enable him to advocate for Lewiston as effectively as his predecessors.

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