Brunswick – August 3, 2020
Let’s chalk up another another step on the road to establishing universal healthcare here in Maine. On Monday, August 3rd the Brunswick Town Council voted unanimously for a “Resolution Supporting Equitable Health Care for All Maine Residents." Many of the members attended via ZOOM video conference.
At-Large Councilor Dan Ankeles introduced the Resolution in an earlier memorandum to Council members, explaining, that while municipal governments do not set healthcare policy, they can "elevate the issue of health care to state and federal elected officials.” And “even though this resolution is non-binding,” he continued, "it has value as a public policy instrument and as an expression of our constituents’ voices.” He also made the point that the current pandemic "added a new level of urgency" to the issue, since many people lost both their jobs and their health insurance.
Maine AllCare Greater Brunswick Chapter leader Dr. Bill Clark was at the meeting in person and spoke about the need for equitable healthcare. A new, better, hassle-free system in which every person pays and every person is covered. One that provides comprehensive care to all and respects the dignity of every person. Brunswick resident and Chapter member Jean Sawyer also spoke in favor of the resolution.
Before the vote, an interesting and important discussion came about as Councilor Watson objected to the lack of specifics, dental coverage in particular, in the Resolution. At-Large Councilor Ankeles was happy to oblige, with full support from all other members. Town manager John Eldridge changed the wording of the introductory sentence on the spot to read: Whereas, every person in Brunswick deserves comprehensive health care to include all forms of care including but not limited to, medical care, mental health care, dental care, behavioral health care, vision care, and hearing care;… The Resolution concludes by urging “both the Maine Legislature and Congress to design and implement an equitable health care plan that provides every Maine resident with comprehensive health care from birth to death.” View a copy of the full resolution HERE.
Other Maine communities that passed a similar healthcare resolution urging universal coverage are: Bangor, Blue Hill, and Penobscot. Orono is considering a resolution, and Maine AllCare chapters in York County are working with southern Maine towns to bring similar resolutions up for a vote.
Is your town ready to propose a Resolution to advance universal healthcare? For more information please contact email@example.com or email Julie Pease directly Please include “Resolution” in the subject line.
-submitted by Joe Lendvai, Bath ME