Western Maine Legislative Caucus to Host Forum
To address public health impacts of proposed state budget
February 10, 2012
On Tuesday, February 14 at 7 a.m. the Western Maine Legislative Caucus will host a forum to discuss Community Impacts of Maine’s Health Care Cuts with representatives from Maine Equal Justice Partners, Maine Hospital Association, Maine Heritage Policy Center (invited) and others. The event will take place at the University of Maine at Farmington Olsen Student Center.
In response to an estimated $221 million budget gap at the Department of Health and Human Services, Gov. LePage earlier this year proposed budget cuts impacting an estimated 65,000 people enrolled in MaineCare. Figures released in February by Maine Equal Justice Partners predict that approximately 1,919 people in Franklin County – or about 6% of the population – could be impacted by the cuts which seek to address the DHHS funding gap without raising taxes. The Maine Heritage Policy Center reported last December that raising taxes to address the problem would result in a statewide loss of over 6,000 private sector jobs.
This week, the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee submitted a bipartisan budget alternative to the LePage plan which would maintain the MaineCare rolls while making alternative budget cuts needed to continue services. The Appropriation Committee’s plan for closing the gap includes capping the cost of services available for childless adults at $40 million.
Tuesday’s forum will explore impacts of health care cuts on Franklin County. The forum will begin promptly at 7 a.m. and will include a free buffet breakfast at 8 a.m. Registration is not required but RSVPs are requested for meal planning purposes. Please contact the Western Mountains Alliance at (207) 778-3885 or firstname.lastname@example.org by February 11.
Caucus forums are free and open to the public. The program is sponsored by the Western Mountains Alliance, University of Maine Farmington, Mt. Blue Regional School District, Franklin Community Health Network, Western Maine Community Action and Greater Franklin Development Corporation. When scheduling permits, forums are taped and aired courtesy of Mount Blue TV Community Access Channel 11.
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