Janice E Cooper, Democrathttp://www.maine.gov/legis/housedems/cooperj/index.htmlFacebook Twitter
Office Sought: Representative - District 47
Occupation: Representative, retired attorney
Vassar College A.D=B 1968 Phi Beta Kappa;
London School of economics (1966-67) Junior Year abroad;
Yale Law School J.D. 1971
Husband: William Schaffer (separated);
Step daughter: Alexandra Schaffer 41.
My daughter, Rebecca Schaffer, age 23, died in 2011. My stepson Timothy Schaffer, died at age 43 this year. Both died in accidents
Why are you running for office? To protect and preserve the things we love about Maine and our home towns, such as its sense of community, natural beauty, authenticity of its people, self-reliance, etc, , and to lead our State in a direction that will invigorate our economy so that young people as well as displaced workers can earn a decent living with a future. In addition, I feel strongly that our government must be highly responsive to the concerns of its people.
I have spent much of my career as a staff person for the U.S. House of Representatives, for the US Judiciary Committee in Washington (1977 to 1992) and then in the District office for Congressman Tom Allen (1999-2008). I also volunteered on various campaigns, both for individual candidates and causes. I worked as a journalist for Legal Times in Washington DC and as a legal services attorney in Oakland CA.
The federal health care law has offered to pay states to expand their Medicaid programs to provide health coverage to low income Mainers. Do you support Medicaid (or MaineCare) expansion?Yes
It is both the moral and economic best course of action. We are among the few nations in the world, particularly in developed countries, that does not provide universal health coverage. Only emergency care is guaranteed for the uninsured and even that is often inadequate . Uninsured costs are often paid by the premiums of insured patients, at a higher rate than if illnesses can be treated early. So we are already paying these costs, just in an inefficient way. Under the ACA hospitals are now bearing a greater share of uncompensated charitable care than previously. . This is unsustainable for them, a much bigger loss than the Medicaid payments that were finally paid to them. The federal dollars that expansion would bring to the State will generate at least $690 million in economic stimulus. Every physician in our legislature last year was there because they felt so strongly about the need to expand Medicaid. They were sick of seeing sick patients go without care, as am I.
Reform of the state’s public assistance programs has been the focus of debates in the State House and on the campaign trail. Do you believe that the state’s welfare programs are too generous?No
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?Create effective ways to identify cheaters, and stop demonizing the host people.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?A livable wage, whatever that is in Maine.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?No
Please explain your position on legalization?Marijuana is a dangerous drug for teenagers, whose brains are still developing. Even though the law would preclude them from buying it, it would become easier for them to get.