2014 maine elections
Voters Guide
2014 maine elections
Voters Guide
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Ted S Koffman, Democrat

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Office Sought: Senator - District 7

Age: 69

Occupation: retired executive director

Education:

Goddard College, MA, 1974

Bloomfield College, BA, 1968

Franconia College, AA, 1966

Family:

Married to Joanna Allen

Children: Lindsey 46; Toby 40; Bess 34; Peter (deceased)

Hometown: Bar Harbor

Why are you running for office? Public service is a very rewarding experience and provides an opportunity to contribute to my community and state. My time in the House of Representatives was challenging and fulfilling. I took great satisfaction in working with colleagues to find practical solutions to problems and to identify promising opportunities to strengthen the economy and quality of life in Maine.

Poltical Experience:

Maine House of Representatives 2000-2008

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

I believe that affordable health care should be available to all citizens, and I look forward to the day when the United States develops a universal health care system. In the meantime, expanding access to affordable care through extending medicaid to 70,000 Maine people is the right thing to do. Research shows that uninsured people are more likely to die of illnesses than insured people, and insured people are more likely survive illnesses due to health insurance availability. The uninsured are less likely to receive preventative care, and may postpone medical treatment due to out of pocket costs. Consequently, uninsured people tend to resort to emergency room charity care when their illness has advanced, at which point they may have substantially higher treatment costs and possible long term disability. Emergency room care is much more costly than a doctor office visit. Sick, uninsured workers are less productive. Sick, uninsured family members add unmanageable expenses to a tight family budget. And rising health care costs is a contributing factor in the erosion of the middle class.

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?Maine's TANF support is the lowest in New England and 19th lowest in the United States. Some have suggested that Maine develop a tiered approach to public assistance, so that assistance is reduced gradually as recipients begin earning income. The tiered approach would provide an incentive to recipients who seek a better quality of life and the dignity of work and independence. On my door to door campaign I've met people who would prefer to work, but are penalized if they do work by loosing all the public assistance supports. There must be a better way to design and manage our welfare system to reduce costs and help lift people out of dependency.

Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes

By how much?The minimum wage has not increased in many years, while the cost of living has climbed---particularly health care and energy costs. Consequently, people have been falling behind and falling into poverty and dependence on public assistance. A gradual increase over the next three years to $10.00 is more than reasonable.

Would you support legalization of marijuana?No

Please explain your position on legalization?A thorough evaluation of the medical marijuana program in Maine should be conducted before the State takes the step of legalizing recreational use. And, if the State moves to legalization, the same laws that are in place for alcohol abuse should apply to marijuana.