Congress is on break for two weeks, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District says she has been meeting with health care providers, who are expressing similar fears about the future of the health care system.
She says they are very worried about cuts to services that have either already been made or are under consideration.
“When I have a recess I like to hear from the people who are working on the ground in Maine to hear about how the impacts are affecting them. And there are things at the federal level that haven’t been cut yet that maybe we can prevent,” Pingree says.
She says many are upset with Republican Gov. Paul LePage for not fully accessing federal public health funds. She says as the nation is in the midst of a drug crisis, now is not the time to be reducing health services.
“We are down to just 20 public health nurses in the state. The governor is interested in eliminating the program. We are worried about cuts to all kinds of health programs, and if we don’t have preventative care for people, how are we going to keep ourselves healthy?” she says.