Supporters of the Mainers for Home Care initiative. 

Dear Phoenix,

Because I’m considered totally disabled, I qualify for both Medicare and MaineCare. As a result, when I tripped and fractured my femur in two places a year-and-a-half ago, I had both a physical therapist and a nurse come treat me at home for over six months. (I have a roommate who helps with household chores.)

Many elderly and disabled people in Maine do not have anywhere near that level of outside support. That’s why I urge everyone to vote yes on Question 1, the Universal Home Care initiative on the ballot right now. Question 1 would ensure that everyone who needs it can get professional home care, regardless of ability to pay or whether they qualify for any current public services.

Opponents of Question 1 call it a scam, but I don’t understand why. Both the services that will be provided and how we’ll pay for them are clearly set out in the initiative. It seems to me it’s the opponents that are trying to perpetuate a scam by scaring people off a sensible solution to a very real problem.

Maine has the oldest population in the country, and that population is spread out. That’s a prescription for a lot of older and disabled people feeling lonely and helpless. They deserve the kind of service I currently get from existing public programs, and their families deserve the peace of mind that comes from knowing their loved ones are well taken care of. Please vote yes on Question 1.

Donna Patten


Dear Editor, 

My brother passed away last year after spending time in hospice care. The hospice workers were at his home every day and were awesome. Elderly and disabled patients not in hospice, but needing special care, deserve to stay in their own homes too and receive the same level of attention my brother received. That’s why I’m going to vote for Question 1, the Universal Homecare Initiative on the Maine ballot this year.

Question 1 would provide dependable, professional homecare for every family that needs it, whether they have the money to pay for it or not. The cost would be covered by raising taxes a little bit on the state’s highest earning residents, individuals making over $128,400 next year (the income threshold would go up in future years with the rising cost of living).

I know from my brother’s experience that the skills and attitudes of the workers coming into the home matter a lot. So I’m glad that Question 1 will also make sure home care workers are paid better than they are now, and that they get better training.

Maine is an old state—the oldest in the country. The need for universal homecare will only get bigger with time.

I’d been seeing all those “Stop the Scam” signs along the road and didn’t know what they were about. Then someone told me they were referring to the universal homecare initiative. I can’t think of anything that’s less of a scam than a carefully thought-out plan to get our senior and disabled friends and neighbors the help they need to stay healthy while staying home.

Opposition to Question 1 is the real scam. Everyone should vote yes on Question 1.

Joe Noel


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