Advocates for homeless march for expanded health care

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Advocates for the homeless and low income people throughout the state, marched through the streets of Portland to draw attention to the plight of Mainers without health care.

They gathered outside the Preble Street Resource Center and made their way up the city’s streets to Congress Square Park.

Once there people who have health care shared their stories of what it has meant to them. Others shared stories of what it’s like to not have health insurance.

Advocates say a major step towards helping those people is expanding the Medicaid program in Maine known as Mainecare, something the LePage administration has repeatedly rejected.

“There are still 70,000 people that could have Mainecare, that could have access to health care, that don’t”, said Tom Ptacek, an advocate who used to be homeless.

The LePage administration decided to shrink the program instead of expanding it. The Governor was concerned the feds would not reimburse states, leaving Maine to foot the bill. Advocates say they’re not giving up the fight.