As Politicians Resist ObamaCare, Lobstermen and Other Hard Working Mainers are Signing Up for Much Needed Coverage

Christy Roix Daggett, Aroostook County Action Program

Few governors have opposed health reform more doggedly than Maine’s Paul LePage. But after vigorous outreach led by the Lobstermen Association and many other groups, Mainers in rural and coastal communities have signed up for affordable coverage.

Using the latest data on enrollments in Maine’s federally operated marketplace, Daggett’s new brief documents major gains in health insurance coverage for residents of rural and coastal communities across this vast state. Political disputes aside, Maine workers and families with low and modest incomes are using generous federal subsidies to obtain health coverage they could not previously afford. With up to a fifth of residents in many towns newly signed up, workers and families across the state are enjoying an economic boost and the promise of better access to ongoing health care.

In the upcoming King v. Burwell case, if the Supreme Court rules against the continued provision of federal subsidies to people in states that have not created or authorized their own ObamaCare marketplaces, the human cost will be high in Maine – as in many other states with large, medically needy rural populations that are disproportionately benefitting from the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

February 2015