Did you know that we passed legislation in 2021 that would start the process of creating a universal health care system for Maine? We did—thanks in no small part to your advocacy! And Gov. Mills allowed it to become law in June 2021 without her signature. We’d gotten close to this milestone before, but never all the way to becoming law. 

So why don’t we have  universal health care here in Maine now?

As the bill moved through the Maine Legislature, one of the changes made was to link the law’s enactment with action at the federal level to make it easier for states to use federal funds on state-based health care systems. Maine is actually  one of several states poised to enact a state-level universal health care system, if and when barriers to getting the necessary federal waivers are removed. 

U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna has submitted a bill that would make it possible for our law to go into effect: the State-Based Universal Health Care Act (H.R. 6270), affectionately known as SBUHCA (it’s kind of fun to say: Sa-Boo-Ka!).

This act will empower states to create their own universal health care systems and will be a crucial step toward a national health program that includes everyone and saves money.

Our allies in a coalition led by One Payer States and Social Security Works are campaigning hard to drum up support for SBUHCA and  increase the number of co-sponsors — now at 28, the highest number yet. OPS president Chuck Pennachio (pictured at right) has been in the halls of Congress in recent weeks, meeting with our representatives and making our case. 

Sign the petition HERE 

How H.R. 6270 moves us toward health care that is universal, simple, and affordable (USA):

  • Mandates that participating states guarantee healthcare coverage for at least 95% of residents in the first 5 years, thus reducing the uninsured and underinsured population to less than 5% (currently 30% in most states)
  • Requires any state-based plan to have benefits equal to or greater than those that the beneficiaries of federal healthcare programs now receive
  • Allows groups of states to come together for joint plans. Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not
  • Paves the way to nationally guaranteed universal, simple, affordable (USA), and equitable health care

If you live in his district, urge Jared Golden to co-sponsor SBUHCA and support its passage. Let him know that we need fundamental health care reform, and this is one viable path. If you live in Chellie Pingree’s district, thank Pingree for co-sponsoring. 

Rep. Chellie Pingree
Portland: (207) 774-5019
Waterville: (207) 873-5713
Washington, DC: (202) 225-6116
Email: Contact form

Rep. Jared Golden
Bangor: (207) 249-7400
Caribou: (207) 492-6009
Lewiston: (207) 241-6767
Washington, DC: (202) 225-6306
Email: Contact form