Monday, 05 November 2018 15:08

Voters to decide controversial home health care initiative

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PORTLAND (WGME) - Here is a breakdown of one of the ballot questions appearing on Tuesday's statewide ballot and what you need to know ahead of the election.

Question 1 is one of the items you will need to decide if you support but it comes with a cost.


"Maine is the oldest state in the country so it's difficult right now for a lot of people. When you walk into the polling booth on Tuesday, you will see Question 1 ask if you support new taxes to fund an initiative called the Universal Home Care Program," said Phoebe Shields of the Yes on Question 1 campaign.


"So 'Yes on Question 1' is for universal home care for the elderly, adults with disabilities, to give them in-home care services that otherwise if they didn't have them they would have to go to nursing homes or someplace else," Sheilds said.


According to the secretary of state, passage would mean a 3.8 percent tax on individuals and families that meet the household wage minimum. The increase would be used to assist people over the age of 65 to receive long-term health care. Canvassers have said they see a lot of support for the idea.


"They're like, 'You know what? Yeah. My mother would really benefit from this, my father,'" Shields said.


On the other side of the ballot, the No on Question 1 campaign said it is seeing strong opposition to the idea.


"Question 1 is ballot initiative that would make Maine the highest tax state in the nation if it would pass on Tuesday," said Ben Gilman of that campaign.


"No to Question 1 says its concerns come down to two things; the tax increase and privacy for seniors in-home care," Gilman said. "That is strongly opposed by the Home Care Hospice Alliance of Maine. All the medical groups in the state of Maine, and the tax side of it with the business community."


With both groups confident of winning on Election Day, it will be up to the voters to decide who is in the right come Tuesday.