On Sunday, July 26 and Monday, July 27, U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon traveled to Washington County and hosted a discussion about access to health care in rural communities, met with a rural broadband provider, and toured a wild blueberry farm to hear about the challenges Mainers are facing and how the federal government can better support them.

Sara toured Wild Wescogus Berries in Addison on Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday afternoon, Sara toured the Wild Wescogus Berries farm in Addison and met with Marie and Dell Emerson to hear how the federal government can continue to support Maine’s wild blueberry industry through the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. She also spoke with Marie and Dell about the federal government’s role in ensuring Maine’s blueberry farms have enough farm workers for this year’s harvest and that those farm workers can stay safe.

 

Sara held a roundtable discussion on rural health care in Calais on Monday morning.

On Monday morning, Sara hosted a roundtable discussion in Calais to hear directly from patients, providers, and advocates on the importance of ensuring Mainers in rural communities like Washington County have access to high quality and affordable health care. She also discussed the urgent need for the federal government to pass more coronavirus relief to make sure Maine’s rural hospitals and health centers have the funding and resources they need to keep people safe and make it through the pandemic.

As Speaker of the House, Sara passed bold prescription drug reforms to crack down on big drug companies and their skyrocketing prices and championed the effort to expand Medicaid to tens of thousands of Mainers, including 2,124 individuals in Washington County as of July 1, 2020. She also passed a bill to protect Mainers’ health care coverage so that no matter what happens in Washington, Mainers with pre-existing conditions can’t be discriminated against, kids can remain on their parents’ insurance until they are 26, and seniors aren’t forced to pay more for coverage.

Sara met with a rural broadband provider in Machias on Monday afternoon.

On Monday afternoon, Sara visited Axiom Technologies in Machias to meet with a rural broadband provider and discuss the need for continued work to strengthen and expand Maine’s rural broadband network to create the jobs of the future, help students and families connect to the internet, and support rural communities across the state. At the state level, Sara has worked to increase funding for broadband, passed bills to help extend broadband coverage in rural Maine, and in March, approved sending a $15 million bond to invest in broadband for the voters to vote on in the July election, which passed overwhelmingly.

In May, Sara also hosted a virtual roundtable with rural health leaders from Washington County about how the coronavirus is impacting their ability to deliver health care to their communities. In February, before the coronavirus hit, Sara held a Supper with Sara event in Harrington.