Fwd: Tomorrow, Vote YES on Question 2

Mon, Nov 6, 2017


Health Equity Alliance urges all to vote tomorrow. 

Please read their perspective on Question 2.

From: Kenney Miller <>

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Tomorrow, vote YES on Question 2 to expand access to MaineCare and help address the opioid crisis.

Health Equity Alliance has Maine’s largest network of Harm Reduction programs. We work directly with people actively using drugs, advocating for them, supporting them, giving them a hand up.

In any given year, HEAL serves more than 1,500 people actively using drugs throughout Northern Maine – people caught in the thralls of substance use. We work hard to ensure that people emerge as healthy and whole as possible – because the tough love approach, doesn’t work… letting people ‘hit rock bottom’ today is a death sentence – and you can’t recover if you’re dead.

It is from this vantage point that I am encouraging you to vote YES on Question 2 when you go to the polls tomorrow.

America has been grappling with drugs for well over century now. We’ve pursued, we’ve punished, we’ve imprisoned… and one thing is clear – after more than 100 years of approaching the problem the same way – it’s not working – we need to try something different.

During the past four years, HEAL has been at the vanguard of a new approach to substance use – we’ve worked hard in the legislature and in the community to pass common sense policy that addresses these issues – policies that save lives…

But all this while, since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2009, the state of Maine has been sitting on one of the greatest tools in the toolbox to address the opioid crisis – MaineCare expansion. Three times this has come up in the legislature – and three times it has been blocked.

Meanwhile, we’ve seen progressive reductions in MaineCare eligibility – leaving people without health insurance, without care, ripped from drug treatment, ripped from their lifeline.

What does Question 2 mean for someone struggling with a substance use disorder?

  • It means access to treatment – the opportunity to turn their lives around, for many of those caught deep in the thralls of addiction, their best chance to be functional, contributing members of society.

  • It means access to life-saving medical care and medications, to treat serious conditions like endocarditis, or hepatitis C.

  • It means access to prenatal care, to try and reduce the incidence of drug affected babies.

  • It means fewer days in jail or in prison, because as law enforcement professionals will tell you, jails have increasingly come to be holding cells for people with what amounts to a medical condition, because there are so few other resources available – take away the dependence on drugs, the need to obtain them whatever the cost, and you take away the motive for any number of related crimes.

  • It means fewer drug overdose deaths, because less drug use = less drug overdoses.

So tomorrow, November 7, 2017 – take 15 minutes out of your day to get to your polling place.

YOU can save lives, you can change lives… vote yes on Question 2 on the ballot, expand MaineCare to address the opioid crisis.

Help us fight this epidemic! Donate now to change lives!

In Community,

Kenney Miller, Executive Director
Health Equity Alliance
106 Pine Street
Bangor, Maine 04401

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