March 27, 2017 – Portland ME – The recent People’s Forum on Health Care was a powerful event. We want to thank everyone who shared their stories. We also want to thank Representatives Mike Sylvester, Ben Collings, Andrew McLean, Rachel Talbot Ross and Maureen Terry, Senator Ben Chipman, and Travis Kennedy from Senator Angus King’s office for witnessing people’s stories and affirming their belief that health care is a human right.
Cait Vaughn from the SMWC got the stories written down and collected them. A number of challenged people, most of whom got help from family to pay off the thousands of dollars they were charged for needed medical care to save their lives, the ACA helping them to a point.
The event was held at First Parish Church at 425 Congress Street in Portland, sponsored by the Southern Maine Workers’ Center, (press release may be viewed here.) Maine State Nurses Association and Maine AllCare.
Delene Perley, Board member of Maine AllCare gave a speech sharing her personal experiences at a Portland food pantry. She made the connection between the current political chaos caused in part by the failure of the Republican so-called American Health Care Act (24 million American would have lost their health insurance) and the ongoing challenges faced by people who cannot afford to pay their health care bills and rely on food pantry support to get by. You may read Delene Perley’s speech here.