Monday, May 14, 2012

Cuts to Fund for Healthy Maine

Dear Friends - I try not to use this blog for my own political purposes (too often) but I do believe these budget cuts require us to act on the underlying Quaker Values that bring us to FSP.  The bulk of this information was shared by Jennifer Lunden of The Center for Creative Healing

If you don't want all the info, you can skip right to the petition to restore funding.   There will be a silent rally at the Statehouse tomorrow at 9:30am to protest these cuts!!!

According to the Maine Association of Social Workers, the proposed budget includes :
  •  Cuts $2M of funding for Head Start, which means that 216 very young children will no longer have access to Head Start and the vital supports it provides to these children and their families. Head Start is an investment in these children's future, as it provides early care and education, as well as health, nutrition, mental health, social and family supports; Cuts nearly $2M of funding for the Child Care Subsidy Program.  This will lead to a deep cut in the availability of child care vouchers for families with incomes below 250% FPL and will negatively impact 1,400 children. The child care subsidy program helps parents with low income to afford the child care they need in order to work;
  • Eliminates funding ($2.6 M) for the Maine Families Home Visiting Program, which will eliminate vital services for Maine's most vulnerable infants and children.  Approximately 750 families will lose services focused on family substance abuse, domestic violence, prevention of abusive head trauma, and the health and safety of children;
  • Eliminates funding ($401,430) for Family Planning. This will result in the closure of seven rural clinics that provide health care, plus other reductions in services in other locations.
  • Eliminates $300,000 for dental services for people with low incomes and no other source of dental help.
  • The complete elimination of MaineCare coverage for 7,000 young adults (19 and 20 year olds) who are under 150% of the poverty level. Although most uninsured young adults work full-time, employment is typically in low-wage jobs, for small firms, and in industries where employer-sponsored insurance is less likely to be provided. As a result, low-income young adults have little financial ability to purchase health coverage and are far more likely to be uninsured than other age groups. This proposal will increase Maine's uninsured rolls by over 7,000 people.
  • Eliminates MaineCare coverage for another 14,500 low-income working parents (those with income between 100-133% FPL). As part of a compromise earlier this session, the legislature already voted to eliminate coverage for 14,000 working parents between 133-200% FPL.  This would double the amount of parents who will have coverage stripped from them and targets parents who are struggling with even fewer resources.
  • Cuts the Drugs for the Elderly Program (DEL) that helps seniors and people with disabilities afford their prescription drugs by eliminating eligibility for people between 175-185% FPL of the poverty level. These are individuals with serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and Lou Gehrig's disease.
To contact "swing" Legislators directly :

Andre Cushing (running for Senate) (Hamden); (207) 449-1358

Karen Foster (Augusta):; (207) 622-2930

Jim Hamper (Oxford):; (207) 539-4586

Ryan Harmon  (Palermo):; (207) 993-6034

Jane Knapp (Gorham):; 207-839-3880

Gary Knight  (Livermore Falls):; (207) 897-2489

Joyce Maker   (Calais):; (207) 454-2327

Kim Olsen  (Phippsburg):; (207) 389-2237

Jon Courtney (in leadership and running for Congress) (York):; (207) 324-5467

Brian Langley   (Hancock):; (207) 667-0625

Earl McCormick   (Kennebec):; (207) 724-3228

Kevin Raye (in leadership and running for Congress) (Washington):; (207) 853-9406