Another Republican gov. expands Medicaid but still ‘no’ from LePage

Medicaid expansion is an extraordinarily good deal for states and here comes another conservative Republican governor who is choosing to expand.

In Pennsylvania,

Gov. Tom Corbett intends to announce he will accept federal funds to expand medical coverage to an estimated 682,000 more Pennsylvanians in a Medicaid-like program, according to sources close to the governor.

Yet in Maine, Gov. LePage still refuses to do so. This means 70,000 Mainers won’t have the health care that will save lives and reduce illnesses. They will be sicker and have higher medical bills, some so high they’ll declare bankruptcy.

Interestingly, Politico recently lumped Corbett and LePage together. With regard to their 2014 electoral prospects, one reporter wrote, “[O]nly two Republicans running for reelection really look like dead men walking at this point: Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett and Maine’s Paul LePage.”

Medicaid expansion is very popular. It’s good politics and good policy.

And governors in political trouble often want to hold positions supported by the electorate. Corbett moved.

So far, LePage hasn’t. And given his oft-stated disdain for all aspects of the Affordable Care Act, it’s quite unlikely he ever will.

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.