AUGUSTA – Tonight, Maine voters approved Question 2 on the statewide ballot. This citizens’ initiative will require the state government to provide Medicaid through MaineCare for persons under the age of 65 and with incomes equal to or below 138 percent of the official poverty line. This expansion of Medicaid is a key component of the Affordable Care Act and Maine is the first in the nation to settle the issue by referendum.

Speaker of the House Sara Gideon released the following statement:

“Mainers want more access to healthcare, not less, and are no longer willing to wait. This vote for Medicaid expansion will provide affordable care to nearly 70,000 hardworking Mainers who have been struggling to make ends meet. This referendum will also bring $500 million dollars into our economy, creating new jobs and increased opportunity, along with the benefits of a healthier workforce.

“One of the most critical pieces of this expansion is the increased access to treatment for those suffering from opioid addiction. For too long, we’ve left federal dollars on the table and Maine families have paid the price. It is now the responsibility and the duty of the governor and the legislature to fully and faithfully implement this law.”