Voter-approved healthcare expansion still law, funding source undecided

AUGUSTA – House Republicans sustained Governor Paul LePage’s veto of LD 837, An Act To Provide Supplemental Appropriations and Allocations for the Operations of State Government. The legislation was designed to fund both the administrative and claims cost of the voter-approved Medicaid Expansion law and received bipartisan support in the Maine House and Senate.

Since the law’s passage in November 2017, the LePage Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services have failed to move forward with implementation, despite ongoing litigation, citing funding concerns.

Regardless of ongoing obstruction, litigation and the sustainment of LD 837, Medicaid Expansion is still Maine law. As of July 2, an estimated 70,000 Mainers became eligible to apply for the increased access to healthcare coverage.  

Speaker Sara Gideon released the following statement:

“This latest action is yet another tactic to not just delay, but to obstruct the law that Mainers passed overwhelmingly at the ballot box. A law that will provide access to healthcare for 70,000 Mainers, bring $500 million dollars into our economy, creating new jobs and increased opportunity. Regardless of the outcome of this veto, Medicaid expansion is the law of the land. The only item for discussion is whether we fund it now or fund it later. It still remains the responsibility and the duty of the governor and the legislature to fully and faithfully implement this law.”