Stevens Memorial Hospital is a "critical access hospital" - a small facility serving the rural community of Norway, Maine. I had the opportunity tour the hospital on Tuesday as part of an effort to better understand the rural health care network in Maine, where, as with so many other services, our dispersed population makes it difficult to cover every town. I was impressed by the level of care being provided there, and enjoyed many of the staff members. One of the more memorable parts of the tour included this bulletin board in the X-ray department.
This is a recording of a radio interview in which Speaker Mark Eves explains why he believes Mainecare expansion, which will reduce Maine's uninsured population by 70,000 people, is so important. I certainly could not make a better argument in favor of this important measure, which is among my chief legislative priorities. Sadly, the Legislature has passed expansion five times in various bipartisan compromises, only to experience five vetoes in the hands of Governor LePage.
I've been part of a special commission studying the issue of health care cost transparency - as in how can real people learn about the actual cost of their medical treatment to be able to shop around and compare providers and services? This has been an interesting series of meetings and will result in some useful legislative recommendations that we'll put forward. Our commission includes three legislator-physicians, so we are lucky to have the expertise of people actually on the ground in medical offices. Here's a News story that includes our Chair, Senator Geoff Gratwick.
Had the chance to visit the Portland Community Health Center's fabulous new clinic today - such a great community asset; a "Patient Centered Medical Home" that serves everyone. It's an impressive operation, and is designed to meet the needs of this very diverse community. It is, however, challenged by the large number of uninsured Mainers. We need to make sure places like this can stay healthy, just as we hope their patients will be. Yet another argument in favor of health care expansion!
Erik C. Jorgensen represents Maine House District 41 - Part of Portland. This blog represents his own opinions and not those of the Maine Legislature, Maine Democrats, or anyone else. To read more about me, click here