In an effort to make the stakes clear in the upcoming vote on universal home care in Maine, supporters of Question 1 from across the state are posting dozens of videos to social media explaining why passage of the referendum is so important to them personally, and for the state.
“In the past several years, I’ve had the opportunity of taking care of four different family members. I believe that people should be allowed to grow old with dignity and remain in their homes as long as possible,” said Frank Ayotte, an Air Force veteran from Auburn, in one video. “That’s why I’m voting yes on one this November.”
In another, state Rep. Kim Monaghan of Cape Elizabeth says that she “absolutely” supports Question 1. “It’s such an important issue,” she says. “And as Maine is number one in the aging community, it is extremely important to allow many of these people the in-home care that they deserve.”
In addition to highlighting personal stories, the Yes on 1 campaign says it also hopes the grassroots videos, which are being shared on the group’s Facebook page, will “help break through a wave of confusing ads and outright lies from the nursing home lobby and their allies, who are opposed to Question 1.”
The videos stand in contrast to the opposition’s campaign ads that feature politicians including Governor Paul LePage.
The No on 1 campaign is backed by a number of major industry groups including the Chamber of Commerce, the Maine Bankers Association, and the Maine Health Care Association, the state’s nursing home lobby. The groups have branded the initiative a “scam,” and claimed it would impose a tax on families, despite the 1.9 percent payroll only applying to individuals who make above $128,400.
“It’s time for the wealthiest 2.6 percent to pay a bit more of their fair share to guarantee that no more seniors or veterans are forced from their homes,” Mainers for Home Care campaign manager Ben Chin in a press statement.
In the videos, many supporters agree that the tax, which was designed to narrow the payroll tax loophole for wealthy earners, would go far in lifting up everyone in the state.
“All my life i have worked with the elderly,”Jennifer from Bangor shared in a video. “The families can’t do this alone and we need help from other people.”
“When one walks the depth of a disease with others,” she added, “you will know [that] one person, one family cannot do this alone. They’ve worked all their life, they’ve given, it’s time for them to receive.”