Maine Democrats mark three years of Medicaid expansion under Governor Janet Mills

With the state’s first hospital, Maine Medical Center, in the backdrop, the Maine house speaker, along with two other Democratic lawmakers who are doctors, touted the benefits of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, ordained by Governor Janet Mills on her first day in office, in 2019. Monday marks three years since the federal government approved Maine’s request to expand government-provided health insurance for low-income people, known in the state as MaineCare. Over the past three years, the program has enrolled 90,000 additional residents, bringing the overall enrollment to about 380,000 people, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. “It means thousands of Maine families can now afford routine checkups, medications and lifesaving health care,” said Speaker Ryan Fecteau, a Democrat, like Mills.Rep. Sam Zager, a practicing physician in Portland, said: “It’s helped us better respond to opioids and other chronic and acute health needs before and since this COVID pandemic. It also saves tons of money. long-term money.” Zager said it saves money by reducing reliance on emergency services. “People want to be healthy. People want to work hard. Not having access to care prevents all of that,” Zager said. The federal government covers about 90 percent of MaineCare’s costs, while the state covers 10 percent, Zager said. , Patsy Leavitt, a nurse practitioner, offered to care for a total of 2,000 uninsured patients at a free medical clinic in Buxton, she staffed the clinic with volunteers and funded it with donations and grants. insured die younger. They delay preventive screenings for cancer and heart disease, and they put off preventive treatment until their problems are extreme,” Leavitt said. Senator Ned Claxton of Androscoggin County has been a family physician for 40 years. Social Services Committee and recalled earlier periods when Medicaid roles had been reduced. “I’ve seen what happens when people lose their insurance and how devastating it is as we struggle to get them the care they need, the supplies and the medications they need,” Claxton said of the cruelty and obstruction of former Gov. Paul LePage,” Fecteau said. “Paul LePage has not budged, continuing to block the expansion that the people of Maine have demanded of ballot boxes.” On the day he delivered his ballot petition, Feb. 16, LePage was asked if he would repeal the expansion. LePage told reporters, “I’m not going to repeal everything that’s good for the residents of Maine. I will say this, however. I will restore – I will restore the working rules. If you’re able-bodied, you need to go to work.” The campaign pointed to this statement as a fair representation of its current position. While the Trump administration has endorsed work requirements for Medicaid coverage in some states, the Biden administration began canceling them, withdrawing endorsements in states like New Hampshire and Arkansas Claxton was critical of the work requirements, saying, “A huge percentage of these people are disabled veterans who don’t qualify for the cover of the veterinary service, these are people who have chosen to stay home and take care of their family members, so they don’t i will not end up in nursing homes, and these are people who simply don’t have regular jobs, or who have three jobs, and none of them count well enough to offset the demands of such a system.” The LePage campaign highlighted its act ion, in 2013, to help Maine hospitals repay $490 million in collective debt accrued from unpaid state MaineCare service bills. “I think he deserves some recognition in that regard. Certainly the hospitals I worked in for years were grateful for that,” Claxton said.

With the state’s first hospital, Maine Medical Center, in the backdrop, the Maine house speaker, along with two other Democratic lawmakers who are doctors, touted the benefits of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, ordained by Governor Janet Mills on her first day in office, in 2019.

Monday marks three years since the federal government approved Maine’s request to expand government-provided health insurance for low-income people, known in the state as MaineCare.

Over the past three years, the program has enrolled 90,000 additional residents, bringing the total number of enrollments to about 380,000 people, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

“It means thousands of Maine families can now afford routine checkups, medications and lifesaving health care,” said Speaker Ryan Fecteau, a Democrat, like Mills.

Representative Sam Zager, a practicing physician in Portland, said: “It has helped us better respond to opioids and other chronic and acute health needs before and since this COVID pandemic. It also saves money. tons of money in the long run.”

Zager said he saves money by reducing reliance on emergency services.

“People want to be healthy. People want to work hard. Not having access to care prevents all of that,” Zager said.

The federal government covers about 90% of MaineCare’s costs, while the state covers 10%, Zager said.

For the 16 years leading up to MaineCare’s expansion, Patsy Leavitt, a nurse practitioner, provided care to a total of 2,000 uninsured patients at a free medical clinic in Buxton.

She staffed the clinic with volunteers and funded it with donations and grants.

“Uninsured people die younger. They delay preventive screenings for cancer and heart disease, and they delay preventive treatment until their problems are extreme,” Leavitt said.

Senator Ned Claxton of Androscoggin County has been a family physician for 40 years. He chairs the legislature’s health and human services committee and recalled earlier periods when Medicaid roles had been reduced.

“I’ve seen what happens when people lose their insurance and how devastating it is as we struggle to get them the care they need, the supplies and the medications they need,” Claxton said.

Democrats have pointed the finger at former Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican challenging Mills for re-election, who blocked the expansion for five years with vetoes and refusing to implement it after voters approved it in a referendum in 2017.

“We cannot forget the cruelty and obstruction of former Governor Paul LePage,” Fecteau said. “Paul LePage stood still, continuing to block the expansion the people of Maine were calling for at the polls.”

On the day he delivered his petition to vote, Feb. 16, LePage was asked if he would repeal the expansion.

LePage told reporters, “I’m not going to repeal everything that’s good for the people of Maine. I’ll say this, though. I’ll reinstate — I’ll reinstate the work rules. If you’re able-bodied, you gotta go to work. “

His campaign pointed to this statement as a fair representation of his current position.

As the Trump administration approved work requirements for Medicaid coverage in some states, the Biden administration has begun rolling them back, withdrawing approvals in states like New Hampshire and Arkansas.

Claxton criticized the demands of the job, saying: “A huge percentage of these people are disabled veterans who are not eligible for veterinary service coverage, these are people who have chosen to stay at home and take care. family members, so they don’t end up in nursing homes, and these are people who just don’t have regular jobs, or have three jobs, and none of them matter enough well to compensate for the demands of such a system.

The LePage campaign highlighted his action, in 2013to help Maine hospitals repay $490 million in collective debt accrued from unpaid MaineCare service bills by the state.

“I think he deserves some recognition for that. Certainly the hospitals I worked in for years were grateful for that,” Claxton said.

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