Cast Your Vote!

This November, the following question will appear on the ballot in Penobscot:

Shall the citizens of Penobscot call on the Maine Legislature to create a publicly funded healthcare plan that provides every Maine resident with comprehensive medical care?   

 ___ Yes    ___ No

Maine AllCare volunteers are working with the Penobscot selectboard and town clerk to create this opportunity for town voters to weigh in on health care. Look for education sessions about the referendum in the fall.

Questions? Check out the FAQs and links below, or contact

Why publicly funded health care?

In a health care system where everyone contributes, and everyone benefits, we would no longer have people going without care or unable to afford it. We would save money by simplifying and reducing waste and overhead. We already handle other common needs in this way, such as fire and police protection and public schools, treating them as public goods that everyone supports, and everyone can use when needed.

How can this work at the state level?

The ideal solution is health care for all at the national level, but we can’t afford to wait for national politicians to do something. And we don’t have to wait. Canada’s national health care system was created first in one province, Saskatchewan, and eventually spread across the country. Other social and political changes in the U.S., including women’s suffrage, interracial marriage, and marriage equality, started in the states and built momentum that led to national action. The same could happen with health care for all.

How can we afford to cover everyone?

The savings from dramatically reducing waste, currently estimated at 15-30% of total health care spending, will allow us to cover comprehensive care for everyone. The waste in our current system comes from high administrative costs, corporate profit-making, uncontrolled prices, lack of preventive care, and delivery of unnecessary services, almost none of which contributes to people’s health or community wellbeing. Nearly every other developed country has adopted a universal health care plan. These countries spend far less per person on health care than we do. They cover everyone and their citizens enjoy better health outcomes.

Who pays for it?

Everyone pays and everyone benefits. A universal system would be supported by taxes or premiums. For those who are employed, this may be shared between employer and employee. Everyone would pay their fair share, and for most, that would be less than they pay now. For an example of how this can work, see the Maine Center for Economic Policy report: Assessing the Costs and Impacts of State Level Universal Health Care in Maine.

How can one town make a difference?

Taking action at the local level is a powerful and longstanding tradition in Maine, with effects often felt at the state level and beyond. Penobscot was one of the first towns to pass a food sovereignty ordinance, for example, in 2011. More and more towns passed similar ordinances, building momentum that eventually led to passage of statewide legislation in 2017.

Are other towns doing this?

Maine AllCare volunteers around the state have asked their town or city to pass a resolution in support of publicly funded health care that covers everyone. Twelve have passed so far, mostly by vote of selectboards and city councils, from Bangor to Brunswick. Penobscot was one of the first towns to pass such a resolution, in 2020. And now, Penobscot is one of the first towns in Maine in which citizens will vote directly on this referendum.

With a universal system, there is peace of mind knowing that health care will always be there, no matter what health crisis might happen to you or your family. Universal coverage will be fair, efficient, and lead to overall better health and a better future for Maine.

Learn more and download the full FAQs here.

Maine AllCare is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that promotes the establishment of publicly funded health care coverage for all Maine residents. This system must be efficient, financially sound, politically sustainable, and must provide benefits fairly distributed to all. We advocate that health care, a basic necessity, be treated as a public good, since it is fundamental to our well-being as individuals and as a democratic nation.