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Action Alert: For Friends of the Fund for A Healthy Maine
The Fund for a Healthy Maine, created from Maine's tobacco settlement, is in grave of danger of being raided to fund other programs.
Todays hearing at the the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee underscored the importance of letting legislators know that the Fund, which is not tax dollars, and was set aside for health creation and disease prevention, should be protected.
If you live in a district represented by any of the legislators listed below, please call this weekend to let them know how important the Fund is.
The Fund amount dedicated to oral health leverages private and community contributions to dental care by coordinating donated dental services, building local community capacity for providing services through community and school based settings with private and non-profit providers; providing partial subsidies to non-profit dental clinics that provide care on a sliding fee scale, and contributing to a tuition loan repayment fund for dentists who will practice in the areas in Maine where there are dentist shortages. This is a small but important part of the overall Fund programing.
There are many other health promoting efforts undertaken with the Fund, including the Healthy Maine Partnerships.
The message that can be left on answering machines this weekend can be brief and to the point:
"I realize the budget situation is dire, but it is essential to preserve the Fund for a Healthy Maine.If you raid The Fund pay for MaineCare or other budget items, it is like making payments on an interest only home loan.
If we are ever going to get at the source of the spiraling health care costs in Maine, we have got to pay down the principle on that mortgage.The programs funded through The Fund are how you start paying down the principle and are essential to keeping future health care costs in check."
In our April 25th edition we sent readers to the wrong page of the MDAC website to find out more about the Sadie and Harry Davis Foundation. Click here for more details about this important new effort to prevent oral disease in children.
The mission of the Maine Dental Access Coalition is to advocate for and improve access to quality preventative and comprehensive oral health care for all Maine residents.