Yes on Question 1 this November
Dignity and freedom for Maine seniors and people with disabilities
This November, Maine voters will have the opportunity to pass Question 1 to give seniors and Mainers with disabilities the freedom to live at home with dignity and independence. Question 1 will establish a universal home care program that guarantees in-home care services are available for all Maine families that need care, invests in the caregiving workforce, and supports family caregivers.
Question 1 has been endorsed by over 60 organizations, including: Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Common Defense, Gateway Community Services, Holding Hands Home Health Care, Justice in Aging, Maine AFL-CIO, Maine Alliance for Retired Americans, Maine Council of Churches, Maine Direct Care Alliance, Maine Education Association, Maine Small Business Coalition, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care, Paraprofessional Health Institute, Well Spouse Association, Ocean Home Health Care, Community Home Care, Global Home Health, and Engility Enterprise Home Care.
Question 1 will:
- Guarantee in-home care for every Maine senior and person with a disability: Older Mainers, veterans, and those with disabilities deserve the freedom to choose how they live and age instead of being forced into nursing homes.
- Support family caregivers: Caregiving can be physically, emotionally, and financially draining work. Question 1 will support thousands of Mainers caring for their loved ones.
- Ensure Maine’s future: Maine is the oldest state in the country and home care is our most needed job. But even as families go bankrupt trying to afford it, home care still doesn’t pay a living wage. It’s time to fix that and invest in creating good jobs doing needed work all over Maine.
How the program will be paid for:
Individuals who earn more than $128,400 will be subject to a 1.9 percent tax on earned income above that amount, which represents the current Social Security cap. Employers will also contribute 1.9 percent on earned income above $128,400. This threshold is assessed on individual (not household income) as the non-partisan Office of Fiscal and Program review made clear in the official fiscal note of the bill. The Maine Center on Economic Policy found that the tax affects only the wealthiest 2.6% of individuals in Maine.
Unearned income above the same threshold (for example income earned from investments) will also be subject to a 3.8% tax. Unearned income below that threshold will not be subject to the tax.
The top 1% in Maine pay the lowest state and local effective tax rate out of any income group in the state, according to studies by the Maine Center for Economic Policy.
State and Local Effective Tax Rates by Income Group
Roadmap to successful implementation:
The Muskie School for Public Service at the University of Southern Maine recently released a study on implementation of Question 1, the universal home care initiative. It provides a road map for implementation that describes how existing waiting lists for services would be eliminated, federal matching funds would be increased and 27,000 Mainers, most going without care, would have access to needed home care services.
Your Privacy is Protected with Question 1:
Five separate privacy provisions guarantee the confidentiality of patient medical records, with Judith Lichtman, who helped to write the privacy provisions of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) calling the measure “an important initiative” that “protects the privacy and dignity of Maine seniors and people with disabilities.”