Maine Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion, but Gov. Says Legislature Must Fund First
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Maine voters approved (59 percent of the vote) a ballot measure to expand Medicaid eligibility to an estimated 70,000 low-income individuals. Maine is the first state to approve Medicaid expansion through a voter referendum. It would bring the expansion total to 32 states and the District of Columbia.
Gov. Paul LePage, who has vetoed Medicaid expansion bills five times, has issued a statement saying he will not implement the measure unless the legislature fully funds it.
“Credit agencies are predicting that this fiscally irresponsible Medicaid expansion will be ruinous to Maine’s budget. Therefore, my administration will not implement Medicaid expansion until it has been fully funded by the Legislature at the levels DHHS has calculated, and I will not support increasing taxes on Maine families, raiding the rainy day fund or reducing services to our elderly or disabled.”
The Portland Press Herald reports that LePage’s office said a statement from at least one credit agency would be released later.