Maine Guv Refuses Medicaid Expansion After Voters Approve It
So much for win. Maine Gov. Paul LePage said Wednesday that he will not expand Medicaid “until it has been fully funded by the legislature,” despite nearly 60 percent of the state’s voters on Tuesday approving the expansion. Extending Medicaid would benefit an estimated 70,000 people, with 90 percent of the cost funded by the federal government. “The last time Maine experimented with Medicaid expansion in 2002 under then-Governor Angus King, it created a $750 million debt to hospitals, resulted in massive budget shortfalls every year, did not reduce emergency-room use, did not reduce the number of uninsured Mainers, and took resources away from our most vulnerable residents—the elderly and the intellectually and physically disabled,” LePage said in a statement. The Republican governor has previously vetoed a Medicaid expansion five times.