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LePage pledges to not implement expanded Medicaid until fully funded

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Gov. Paul LePage (Courtesy photo)

AUGUSTA, Maine - Governor Paul R. LePage issued a statement today saying he will not implement the recently passed Medicaid expansion until it is fully funded.

The expansion approved by Maine voters on Tuesday will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to give "free" health care to working-age, able-bodied adults, most of whom do not have dependents, LePage said.

"The last time Maine experimented with Medicaid expansion in 2002 under then-governor Angus King, it created a $750 million debt to hospitals, resulted in massive budget shortfalls every year, did not reduce emergency room use, did not reduce the number of uninsured Mainers and took resources away from our most vulnerable residents--the elderly and the intellectually and physically disabled," said Governor LePage.

"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."

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