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Progressive Advocacy Group: Nearly 118,000 Mainers Would Lose Health Insurance Under Senate Bill

Progressive health care activists are expressing concern about Mainers they say will lose health insurance if the Senate health care bill is passed.

“This bill would cause 22 million Americans to lose their coverage, including 117,900 right here in Maine,” says family medicine Dr. Cathleen London of Milbridge, who spoke during a teleconference organized by the Center for American Progress.

London and other critics of the GOP bill say it does not preserve as much coverage as the Affordable Care Act, and that the Senate should reject it. She says many self-employed workers in Washington County, including lobstermen and blueberry farmers, rely on Medicaid as their sole option for health insurance.

London says she sees patients in her practice who have put off seeing a doctor because they lacked insurance.

“So here’s somebody who could be a productive member of society, who could be doing things, and instead is just biding his time till he can get on Medicare,” she says. “That’s what we’re looking at, we’re gonna put millions more people into that.”

Bangor Mayor Joe Baldacci says the Senate bill would hurt the economy in central Maine, including the loss of jobs.

“Analysis by the Maine Hospital Association was that just hospitals in Bangor will lose $62 million per year,” he says.

Center for American Progress Senior Policy Advisor Sam Berger says the bill will also hurt older Mainers, who make up a growing segment of the population.