“It was heartbreaking work. These patients were working in jobs that didn’t provide health insurance. Having that could have prevented their illness or their disability or their death.”
Dr. Jane Pringle, primary care physician for 36 years, reflected on her experience caring for patients who didn’t have health insurance when they were admitted to the hospital for problems like a heart attack or a stroke or an advanced cancer.
In 2016, we handled 460 cases for clients in every county in the state. Most of our cases were in the areas of health care and income maintenance which includes programs like food supplement, TANF, and General Assistance. We are pleased to report that in 2016 100% of clients who responded to our client satisfaction survey reported they had been treated with respect, and over 90% said Maine Equal Justice helped with their problem.
We are often asked, “What exactly does Maine Equal Justice do?” The short answer is: we work on behalf of Mainers with low income to improve lives. (more...)
Maine Equal Justice Partners recently recognized Samantha Watson and Kathy Rondone with the 2016 Susan Emmerling Raise Your Voice for Justice Award. This award celebrates the undaunted and passionate work of advocates who connect the dots between their individual experiences and the systemic policy solutions that can improve lives on a broad scale. (more...)
It has been a busy fall and winter at Maine Equal Justice Partners. In this newsletter we’ll share highlights of our wildly successful signature gathering effort for MaineCare Expansion. We are also pleased to recognize our 2016 Susan Emmerling Award Winners, Kathy Rondone and Samantha Watson, two fierce advocates who have shown courage in speaking up for equal justice, inspiring and paving the way for others in the process.
It won’t come as a surprise to you to hear that the current political environment presents more challenges than ever to Mainers with low income. This issue of “On the Move” takes a look at Equal Justice advocacy for More Health Care—Not Less, for Real Reforms that Solve Real Problems and for Affirming Solidarity with and Support of Immigrants.
President Trump’s January 27 executive orders exploded across the world, wreaking havoc, causing harm and placing thousands of people in danger. Although the order was struck down by the courts, the President wasted no time in redirecting anti-immigrant sentiment by stepping up efforts to deport immigrants, spreading fear in immigrant communities and emboldening hostility and acts of violence by those who buy into this shameful rhetoric.
Sadly, this targeting of immigrants, which inspires hateful words and actions, is not new in this country or in this state. Year after year, we have seen Governor LePage push proposals that would put immigrants in Maine at risk – proposals that would leave people without shelter, food, or medicine when they need it. This year is no different.
Now is the time to raise our collective voice and affirm our solidarity with all members of our community who have been targeted by these unjust actions. We can do that here in Maine by supporting our immigrant friends and neighbors in this budget fight. Join us!
On February 21, Maine’s Secretary of State certified Mainers for Health Care‘s ballot initiative with 66,434 valid signatures, well over the minimum of 61,123 valid signatures required for a successful citizens’ ballot initiative. This effort, a partnership of Mainers throughout the State, has exceeded the minimum threshold of signatures gathered, so the question is now qualified to go before the Maine Legislature, which can choose to pass it into law without any amendments or alterations. If the Legislature does not pass veto-proof legislation, the question of expanding Medicaid will come to the people on the November 2017 ballot. (more...)
The Maine legislature has an opportunity to pass the legislation in this current session. But, the legislation needs to pass and sustain a likely veto from Governor LePage who has stymied five previous attempts by the Legislature to expand Medicaid. If the Legislature is unable to override a veto, Mainers for Health Care will bring the important question of Medicaid expansion to the voters in November 2017. (more...)
On Tuesday, February 21st and Wednesday, February 22nd Mainers from across the state testified against Governor LePage’s proposed biennial budget, which harms, rather than helps Mainers who are doing their best to make ends meet. Those who testified included individuals like Samarali and Karen. (more...)
The Governor’s proposed budget cuts more than $65 Million dollars from anti-poverty programs that provide health care, food, and shelter. The cuts will affect Mainers who already face steadily rising costs as well-paying jobs that can support a family have dwindled. These deep cuts are proposed at the same time that this budget gives thousands of dollars in income tax cuts to some of the wealthiest people in Maine.
This proposed budget comes on the heels of deep cuts made in recent years that have already caused more than 35,000 Mainers to lose health care; 16,000 children to lose support meeting basic needs; and more than 40,000 to lose food assistance (SNAP).
One of the most serious problems facing Maine today is the growing rate of children that have fallen into deep poverty in recent years. Families who struggle to scrape by on $10,000/year or less (for a family of 3) are considered to be in deep poverty. By this measure, Maine children are losing ground compared to children in the rest of the nation.
Between 2011 and 2016, the percentage of Maine children living in deep poverty has increased at a rate 8 times greater than the national average. Yet during this same time, assistance intended to help families with children move out of poverty has been significantly reduced and limited.
Speaker of the House Sara Gideon aims to solve this problem (More...)