Doctors picket Sen. Collins’ office in support of Affordable Care Act

A group of about fifty protestors stood outside the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building on Saturday, the home of Maine Senator Susan Collins’ Bangor office, in order to call for the protection of the Affordable Care Act.

The size of the crowd isn’t particularly notable, given the frequency and fervency of  of rallies in Maine in recent weeks (another pro-ACA event that day in Augusta, for instance, drew 200 participants), but its composition certainly is: most of the protestors were local physicians and other health care professionals.

Trading their white coats for parkas, the group spent an hour on the side of Harlow Street holding pro-ACA signs and telling anyone who would listen about what a repeal of the health care law would mean for their patients, often in very specific and personal terms:

“I believe everyone has a right to health care and having affordable, comprehensive health insurance is necessary to keep Mainers healthy. It is part of my job as a physician to stand up for and advocate for my patients in this way,” said Lisa Buck, a family physician in Bangor who helped to organize the rally.

An estimated 95,000 Mainers would lost coverage if the Act were repealed without a comparable replacement.

Other health care professionals across the state are also taking a leading role in advocating for safeguarding the ACA. Earlier this month, more than 300 nurses, counselors, therapists, doctors, and dentists banded together to place an ad in four Maine newspapers with an open letter to Sen. Collins supporting the Act.

“I know firsthand what the ACA does for families,” said Sam Zager, a family medicine doctor in Portland who signed the letter. “We found a decent plan through the insurance exchange, and then my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was the worst time of our lives, absolutely agonizing. But amidst all the grimness we were facing, at least we had some measure of security knowing that we had health insurance to largely cover her operations and chemotherapy. She got diagnosed and cured here in Maine, thanks to many terrific people, and the ACA.”

Mike Tipping

About Mike Tipping

Mike is Maine's longest-writing political blogger and explores state politics and policy with a focus on analysis and explanation. He works at the Maine People's Alliance and Maine People's Resource Center.