State of Maine Archives: on Health Care

Sara Gideon: Strongly oppose raising Medicare eligibility age

Q: Your Medicare policy?

Gideon: We've taken steps in the state House to protect our seniors, by restoring Maine's low-cost prescription drug program and passing legislation to prevent insurance companies from overcharging seniors for health care. I will strongly oppose efforts to raise the Medicare eligibility age. I'll work to cap out-of-pocket costs of prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare and continue to champion the Affordable Care Act, which closed the Medicare donut hole.

Source: AARP Survey on 2020 Maine Senate race Oct 16, 2020

Sara Gideon: Let Medicare negotiate drug prices; allow imports

Q: Your prescription drug policy?

Gideon: I'll fight to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, to cap out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare and to work to implement the low-cost drug importation program on the federal level that we've already passed in Maine.

Source: AARP Survey on 2020 Maine Senate race Oct 16, 2020

Susan Collins: Improve advance transparency on medical billing

Q: Your Medicare policy?

A: Congress needs to take steps to improve Medicare's financial condition. We should improve transparency so that patients know in advance the cost of any medical procedure or prescription drug. Another way to achieve program savings is to combat the high cost of prescription drugs. That's why I support putting a cap on the out-of-pocket costs that seniors pay under the Medicare program. We can also help reduce costs by assisting seniors in managing diseases such as diabetes.

Source: AARP Survey on 2020 Maine Senate race Oct 16, 2020

Susan Collins: Authored law letting pharmacists help patients save money

Q: Your prescription drug policy?

Collins: I've authored multiple laws to help Americans struggling with the high cost of medications, including a law that bans 'gag clauses,' which prevented pharmacists from telling their patients when there might be a way to save money on their prescriptions. I support promoting competition, increasing transparency and banning the anticompetitive practices such as pay-for-delay. I support capping the amount that seniors pay out of pocket for prescription drugs.

Source: AARP Survey on 2020 Maine Senate race Oct 16, 2020

Susan Collins: Strong supporter of home care

Q: Your home care policy?

Collins: Expanded access to home health care allows many seniors to stay right where they want to be: in the comfort, privacy and security of their own homes. I've always been a strong supporter of home care. My Home Health Planning Improvement Act was recently signed into law as part of the COVID-19 response. It will improve Medicare beneficiaries' access to home health care, removing needless delays.

Source: AARP Survey on 2020 Maine Senate race Oct 16, 2020

Sara Gideon: Let government negotiate to lower cost of drugs

Gideon said she wants the government to do more to lower prescription prices and to let anyone under the age of 65 to buy into Medicare. "Making Medicare stronger so we can actually have the U.S. government negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower the cost of drugs," said Gideon.
Source: WMTW Portland ABC-8 on 2020 Maine Senate debate Sep 29, 2020

Susan Collins: Helped pass law lowering drug prices, speeding generics

When the debate turned to health care, Collins pointed to a law she helped pass to lower drug costs. "That has led to 44 generic drugs coming to the marketplace much more quickly," said Collins.
Source: WMTW Portland ABC-8 on 2020 Maine Senate debate Sep 29, 2020

Sara Gideon: Complete the work started under Affordable Care Act

Source: 2020 Maine Senate campaign website Jun 4, 2020

Paul LePage: COVID: Spoke against shutdown while quarantined in car

An anti-shutdown rally in the state capital featured a prominent Republican face, or at least his voice. Former Gov. Paul LePage, who recently returned to Maine from Florida, addressed a crowd of several hundred people in Augusta from inside a Lexus SC430 parked about 30 feet away. LePage remained in the car because he is self-quarantined, and his remarks were broadcast via cellphone.
Source: Portland Press Herald on 2022 Maine Gubernatorial race May 16, 2020

Paul LePage: Almost eradicated public health nursing in Maine

During LePage's time the number of public health nurses in Maine fell from 59 to below 20. These are the nurses who set up more than 200 immunization clinics in 2009. Working with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, they were monitoring public health and doing their best to keep us safe. By 2017, LePage had almost succeeded in eradicating public health nursing here. LePage refused to allow the CDC to hire new nurses as experienced nurses retired, left or were driven out.
Source: Portland Press Herald on 2022 Maine Gubernatorial race Apr 4, 2020

Sara Gideon: Reduce prescription costs; protect pre-existing conditions

Nobody should be deciding between whether they go to a doctor, whether they buy their medicine or whether they're putting food on the table. If we want to change that, we need to tackle issues like, one, reducing the cost of prescription drugs. Number two, making sure that we are protecting people with pre-existing conditions, making sure that young people are able to stay on their parents health insurance until they're sound, financially sound, enough to be able to afford it on their own.
Source: Maine Public Broadcasting on 2020 Maine Senate race Dec 2, 2019

Sara Gideon: Public option for Medicare, but not Medicare-for-All

In an interview, Gideon stopped short of backing the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all. She said she supports "a public option so everyone can buy into Medicare," reminiscent of a proposal from former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential frontrunner. On climate, she said changes passed in Maine this year--including a goal to achieve 100 percent renewable energy in the electricity sector--should be a model for Congress.
Source: Bangor Daily News on 2020 Maine Senate race Sep 16, 2019

Janet Mills: Medicaid expansion helps everyone

Expanding MaineCare will help rural hospitals--which are some of the largest employers in their communities, often the only source of care, and often on the edge of financial collapse--because expansion will reduce the amount of uncompensated care they are asked to provide. We expect that this will reduce the cost of health insurance to small businesses, self-employed individuals and employees--whose insurance rates are essentially making up the difference for hospitals' uncompensated care.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Maine legislature Feb 11, 2019

Janet Mills: Expanding MaineCare helps needy & helps hospitals

Expanded MaineCare will help up to 70,000 people who now lack affordable health insurance, so that they will never again have to face the choice between medical care and bankruptcy. Expanding MaineCare will also help our rural hospitals-- which are some of the largest employers in their communities, often the only source of care, and often on the edge of financial collapse--because expansion will reduce the amount of uncompensated care they are asked to provide.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Maine legislature Feb 11, 2019

Betsy Sweet: Supports universal coverage including alternative therapies

Health Care is a Right. I Support universal coverage--Medicare for all or a New England compact for single payer as we move toward federal coverage. This is my #1 priority; here are some doable solutions:
Source: Connection: 2018 Maine Governor race Nov 1, 2018

Shawn Moody: Wants health insurance open to competition amongst states

Work to bring back successful Maine reforms, overridden by Washington, that increase competition, allow the purchase of health insurance across state lines and lower costs for Maine people. Provide transparency so customers can compare prices between Maine hospitals for non-emergency services and treatments. Ensure those who receive government funded health care, if physically able; contribute something toward their own care to ensure costs are not just shifted onto other payers or taxpayers.
Source: 2018 Maine Gubernatorial race website Sep 1, 2018

Shawn Moody: Citizen referendum decided Medicaid expansion: make it work

He was asked about Medicaid expansion, passed by voters as a citizen referendum but so far blocked by LePage. He said that while that expansion money is "only targeted to a certain population of people and is a bailout to the ACA (Affordable Care Act)," nonetheless "it's been decided. The laws have been passed, and now we have to figure out how to work it out."
Source: Foster's Daily Democrat on 2018 Maine gubernatorial race Aug 3, 2018

Zak Ringelstein: ObamaCare helped; but supports Medicare single payer

There is no excuse for why the richest country in the world has forced millions of people to live in fear about their next medical bill. The ACA has increased the percentage of Americans covered by insurance. However, it still doesn't work well for all Americans. We believe that health care is a right. Therefore we believe Medicare, a single-payer system that has proven itself over the course of many decades, should be implemented universally.
Source: 2018 Me. Senate campaign website, Jun 26, 2018

Chris Lyons: Insurance companies benefit from ObamaCare; people don't

I was against Obamacare before enacted by the force of government and I am still in opposition to it after the enforcement by the force of government. The 4 main mandates Obamacare was suppose to address failed miserably
  1. It did not reduce the cost of healthcare
  2. It did not reduce the cost of health insurance
  3. It did not provide the best medical care for all at a reasonable and affordable cost
  4. The cost of prescriptions have skyrocketed.
Failure. Also, and I think it is pertinent to note, the health insurance companies very much benefited financial with this legislation. Their stocks soared 25% after enactment and their profit margins grew 100% year on year; but was health care more readily available, better, less expensive? In sum, it was corporate welfare at an extreme. As a citizen, I am embarrassed I even have to think about this.
Source: Follow-up OnTheIssues interview: 2018 Maine Senate candidate Mar 10, 2018

Chris Lyons: Oppose ObamaCare

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Expand ObamaCare"?

A: oppose

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Maine Senate candidate Mar 6, 2018

Paul LePage: Budgetary limits on Medicaid expansion

    We must fund Medicaid expansion in a way that is sustainable and ongoing. Therefore, my principles are as follows:
  1. No tax increases on Maine families or businesses.
  2. No use of the Budget Stabilization Fund (which we call the "Rainy Day Fund").
  3. No use of other one-time funding mechanisms--known as budget gimmicks.
  4. Full funding for vulnerable Mainers who are still waiting for services, and no reduction of services or funding for our nursing homes or people with disabilities.
Source: 2018 Maine State of the State address Feb 13, 2018

Mary Mayhew: Absolutely opposed to Medicaid expansion

Mayhew has adamantly opposed efforts to expand Medicaid, which she said will only increase the dependency of able-bodied adults on government entitlement programs, drain the state budget, and require cuts in services for the elderly and disabled. Medicaid expansion "creates a golden circle around able-bodied adults," Mayhew said.

Helping able-bodied adults return to the workforce should be the priority, which will leave more resources for the elderly and disabled, she said.

Source: The Lincoln County News on 2018 Maine Gubernatorial race Jul 5, 2017

Janet Mills: Her office took on drug manufacturer Mylan on price gouging

Last year, generic drug manufacturer Mylan jumped the price of a 2-pack of EpiPens, from about $100 in 2007 to over $600 last year. Last winter, the Maine Atty General's Office and Atty general's in 19 other states sued Mylan and 6 other generic drug companies for conspiring to artificially inflate prices and reduce competition for an antibiotic drug and an oral diabetes drug. Just because a drug is cheap for them to make does not mean any savings will be passed on to consumers.
Source: Mills OpEd in Press Herald on 2018 Maine Gubernatorial race Jun 28, 2017

Eric Brakey: Do better than backdoor deals that led to ObamaCare

When DC insiders cut secret deals in smoky back rooms, the little guy always loses. I recognize that the GOP leadership has a tough job, but that should not mean legislating behind closed doors. We deserve better than the same kind of backdoor process that saddled us with ObamaCare in the first place. It's time to tamp down the rhetoric, fix our broken healthcare system, and start standing up for the little guy."
Source: Facebook posting on 2018 Maine Senate race Jun 22, 2017

Eric Brakey: Apply principles of freedom to broken healthcare system

Glad @RandPaul [GOP Senator from Kentucky whose ObamaCare replacement plan focuses on deregulation] is fighting to fix our broken healthcare system with principles of freedom.
Source: Twitter posting on 2018 Maine Senate race Feb 25, 2017

Bruce Poliquin: Replace ObamaCare with cross-state & group insurance

End ObamaCare and Replace with Free Market Solution to Improve Health Care: ACTION ITEMS:It's a bad idea for the federal government to take over our free market health care industry. Although promised otherwise, millions of frightened Americans are seeing their health insurance plans cancelled because they do not include unwanted and expensive coverage mandated by the new one-size-fits-all health care law.

One alternative to ObamaCare is to allow families to shop across state lines to buy the health insurance that fits our needs at a price we can afford, just like purchasing automobile insurance. Small businesses should also be allowed to band together to buy coverage.

Source: 2014 Maine House campaign website, Nov 4, 2014

Shenna Bellows: Supports ObamaCare & universal health coverage

Source: 2014 Maine Senate campaign website Aug 31, 2014

Eliot Cutler: Universal access to essential health care services

Whether they are old or young, employed or unemployed, and wherever they live, all Mainers should have access to preventive health care--because it is the right, fair and morally responsible thing to do, and because it is the financially and economically smart thing to do. With universal access to essential health care services, Maine can muscle down our health care costs--while staying in the top tier of America's healthiest places and making Maine more competitive as a place to live and to work.
Source: 2014 gubernatorial campaign website, Dec 31, 2013

Cynthia Dill: Medicaid and Medicare programs need to be strengthened

Maine Sen. Cynthia Dill and former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap defended the social programs and instead said they would look to taxation reforms and cuts in military spending as ways to balance the federal budget.

Dill called for fair tax policies that require the wealthy to pay their fair share, and cuts in military spending such as for weapons systems. "When it comes to Medicaid and Medicare, those are programs that need to be strengthened," she said.

Source: Morning Sentinel on 2012 Maine Senate debates Jun 6, 2012

Charlie Summers: 100% deductible cross-state insurance instead of ObamaCare

Our next senator must help provide families relief from the increasing burden of health care, not with Obamacare, but with common sense solutions like allowing businesses and individuals to purchase health insurance like any other insurance, from the lowest cost provider anywhere in the United States and making the cost of that insurance like the cost of a mortgage, 100% deductible from an individual's federal income tax.
Source: 2012 Senate Campaign website,, "Message" Apr 13, 2012

Matt Dunlap: ObamaCare individual mandate is constitutional

On energy, the candidates agreed that Maine's next U.S. senator should work hard to maintain federal low-income heating assistance because of the large number of Maine families that can't afford to fill their oil tanks and heat leaky homes. They also agreed that the government should invest in weatherization programs to reduce the need for heating oil over the long term.
Source: KJ Online coverage of 2012 Maine Senate debate Mar 31, 2012

Paul LePage: MaineCare recipients contribute to statewide health coverage

Based on ability to pay, we ask MaineCare recipients to contribute to the cost of the state-sponsored health care coverage. Unfortunately, we are limited in the reforms we can offer in MaineCare because of the Affordable Care Act out of Washington. Maine's generosity is being penalized by the federal government. There are additional savings to be had in MaineCare but federal mandates force us to look elsewhere.
Source: Maine 2011 State of the State Address Feb 10, 2011

John Baldacci: Ensure access to basic health care

Source: 2006 Maine Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 7, 2006

  • The above quotations are from State of Maine Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Health Care.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Please consider a donation to!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Oct 13, 2021