At-Large Councilor Dan Ankeles introduced the Resolution in a 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.”