With a citizen initiative on the ballot for this November, Maine is poised to become a national leader in the critical debate about how to provide care for a rapidly aging population and how to ensure those who provide care earn a decent living. There is little question about the need for action — the current system fails too many people who need care as well as too many who provide it.
The answer provided by the proposed universal home care program is bold and suitable to the scale of the challenge. The initiative would ensure that all seniors and people with disabilities, regardless of income, can get the care they need. The initiative would also create a structure to improve the pay of caregivers and empower workers to advocate for their interests, recognizing that Maine’s care problem can’t be solved without also ensuring the state can retain and recruit enough caregivers. As a result, the initiative has captured the attention of citizens across the state, and even many outside it.The above excerpt was originally published in Sun Journal.