Don’t Make Mainers Work or Die

Target: Paul LePage, Governor of Maine

Goal: Do not impose work requirements, premiums, or copays on MaineCare recipients.

Governor Paul LePage is threatening to strip healthcare from thousands of his constituents by imposing work requirements, premiums, and copays on those who receive MaineCare, Maine’s Medicaid program. Able-bodied adults would be forced to pay premiums based on their income and work at least 20 hours per week or volunteer for 24 hours per week or face losing healthcare.

While this sounds like a reasonable idea to conservative ideologues, in reality it would mean some of the least fortunate Mainers lose access to a vital lifeline. The state is still facing economic hardship and its population is aging and declining, which has left thousands in a vicious cycle of joblessness and homelessness, while mental illness only further depresses any chance of finding prosperity. Those able-bodied Medicaid recipients who don’t work often have good reason for it, such as attending school, taking care of a family member, or simply being unable to find a job. Taking away their healthcare won’t encourage them to get a job, but will instead place them in a dangerous situation. And while the premiums and copays may sound reasonable to legislators, for people with no income it can be an unwieldy burden that puts access to healthcare out of reach.

These new restrictions proposed in Maine would do little to encourage work, but would reinforce negative stereotypes about welfare recipients while stripping vital healthcare from the people who need it most. Sign this petition to tell Governor LePage as much, and demand he show some compassion for some of our country’s least fortunate citizens.


Dear Governor LePage,

In the years since your ascent to office, you have removed tens of thousands of people from Maine’s Medicaid system, and newly proposed restrictions only threaten to increase the numbers of those without access to healthcare. While work requirements and premium and copay payments may appeal to Republican ideology, they are in practice an ineffective way to decrease unemployment and homelessness, and instead function only to further stigmatize welfare recipients while stripping a vital lifeline from the people who need it most.

The majority of Medicaid recipients are already elderly, disabled, or children, while many who remain are students, family caregivers, or simply unable to find a job; these latter so-called “able-bodied” individuals would not be encouraged to work harder when threatened with loss of MaineCare, but would instead lose their access to affordable healthcare. Similarly ineffective are premium and copay requirements, as MaineCare already serves some of the lowest-income Mainers, for whom any payment can be a significant burden, if not barring them from receiving care altogether.

The proposed measures would have little effect on encouraging MaineCare recipients to work, but would instead remove more thousands of desperate people from receiving necessary healthcare while reinforcing negative stereotypes about welfare recipients. I urge you to consider the true implications of what you have proposed, and work to expand the access to care for those you serve so that they and the state of Maine may prosper in good health and happiness.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Matt Gagnon

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One Comment

  1. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    thats not fair!

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