Chelle Wyatt holds her hearing aid Friday, April 15, 2022, in Salt Lake City. People with hearing loss have adopted technology to navigate the world, especially as hearing aids are expensive and inaccessible to many. Credit: Rick Bowmer / AP

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This was me in 2017. I had significant hearing loss. The fee for the hearing aids that were recommended? $1,750 each – $3,500 for both – and that was with the $750 each that my generous (at that time) insurance would cover. We decided we couldn’t afford them.

Fast forward to December 2019. I received a letter from my insurance company saying they would now cover the cost of hearing aids beginning in January of 2020. The cost to me for a pair of $5,000 hearing aids that can link to my phone, take calls, and enable me to listen to podcasts without bothering anyone else with the sound? $4. Yes, you read that correctly.

Why did the insurance company decide to cover my need? Was it because they suddenly decided that, yes, everyone should have the benefits of decent hearing and be able to interact in a meaningful manner with their spouses, friends, and neighbors

Nope. It was the Democratically-led Legislature and Gov. Janet Mills who broadened not only who is covered but the actual coverage all Mainers receive from their health care insurance.

This didn’t happen as a result of politically-charged rhetoric. It was the Democratic Legislature and a governor whose leadership style is to carefully examine all sides of an issue, make a determination, and then act in a manner that provides the most benefit to the most residents of this magnificent state.

If you want to continue this sort of leadership – leadership Maine can be proud of actually helping the little guy (and gal) overcome real issues that improve their lives – join me in supporting Gov. Janet Mills and return a Democratically-led Legislature to Augusta in November.

Geoff Bates

South Bristol