Janet Mills has done an admirable job managing Maine’s economy: Both Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s have given Maine a strong credit rating for three years after being downgraded during LePage’s time in office; there have been surpluses allowing the “rainy day” fund to be funded at record levels; and conservative economists have given Maine high marks for its economic recovery from the COVID pandemic — all this while increasing the state’s share of education funding to the mandated 55% for the first time and restoring the state’s revenue sharing to towns to 5% after LePage cut it to 2%.
However, as a retired physician assistant, what I am most grateful for, and proud of, is the way that Gov. Mills and the Democratic legislature have protected and expanded access to healthcare. Gov. Mills expanded Mainecare, giving 95,000 Mainers health insurance. LePage blocked Mainecare expansion despite the referendum that was approved in 2004 to expand it. Mainecare now covers adults as well as children, important because poor dentition has been associated with several serious (and costly) diseases, including heart disease.
Gov. Mills and the Democratic legislature have protected and expanded access to critical reproductive healthcare. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners are now allowed to perform abortions and both private insurance and Mainecare are now required to cover abortion services. Since Dobbs, Gov. Mills has issued executive orders to protect patients and providers of abortion services from out-of-state legal attacks.
Maine came through the pandemic better than most states thanks to Gov. Mills and the excellent guidance of Dr. Shah. In fact, Maine was recently ranked second in a study of state healthcare systems’ responses to the pandemic. Maine has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country and the statewide requirement for healthcare providers to be vaccinated protects patients and co-workers.  Lepage said he would have let healthcare workers go unvaccinated.
I hope you will join me in voting for Janet Mills (and your Democratic candidates for the Legislature).

Ann Schaer
Waldoboro