AUGUSTA – After a victory at the ballot box, Maine voters resoundingly approved the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. 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. Maine is the first in the nation to settle the issue by referendum.

Despite this huge victory, Governor Paul Lepage and House Minority Leader Ken Fredette have already pledged to obstruct the results of the election and erect barriers to implementation.

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. Despite Governor LePage and his allies repeated attempts to kill this critical proposal, Mainers could not have spoken more clearly yesterday when they told us that they demand affordable access to healthcare.

“So let me be clear: we will be fully and faithfully implementing this law. The legislature will move swiftly to fund Medicaid expansion as required by law. The governor and DHHS commissioner will implement its requirements as well, as they are obligated to do.

“Any attempts to illegally delay or subvert this law will not be tolerated and will be fought with every recourse at our disposal. Mainers demanded affordable access to healthcare yesterday, and that is exactly what we intend to deliver.”