Gov. LePage has opposed Medicaid expansion from the start.
But, after a week or so that saw hundreds come to Augusta to tell their stories and ask the Legislature to broaden coverage, as well as the release of a controversial study from a private consultant hired by the administration, the governor is predicting that expansion will occur.
According to a report by Jesse Scardinia:
LePage, speaking at the annual dinner of the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers, told an audience of about 90 at the Elks lodge, “Today I left work quite upset because we have a Legislature in Maine that has no compassion. They’re going to be passing Medicaid expansion in the state of Maine.”
Why would expanding Medicaid indicate “no compassion”? According to the governor, an expansion would result in a large tax increase, a claim not backed by a number of other analysts.
Many others — including some Republican governors — point to evidence that Medicaid expansion would improve health, save lives, and help the economy.
According to the Maine Center for Economic Policy, “If Maine lawmakers fail this legislative session to accept federal funds to provide health care to almost 70,000 Maine people, approximately half of whom are working, Maine will miss out on as many as 4,400 jobs and over half a billion dollars in annual economic activity by 2016.”