Court Orders Governor Paul LePage to Expand Medicaid as Voters Intended

Written by SK Ashby

The residents of Maine voted by an overwhelming margin to expand Medicaid under Obamacare last November, but it's now June and the state still has not expanded Medicaid.

Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) has refused to follow the will of voters and a state court is now ordering LePage to do so.

From the Bangor Daily News:

In a 13-page decision, Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy cited the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ “complete failure to act” on part of the law requiring the state to file a plan to expand Medicaid. She ordered state officials to file that plan within a week.

Advocates for Medicaid expansion sued the LePage administration in late April after the state missed an April 3 deadline to send a plan — a simple document — to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on how it would cover an estimated 70,000 more Mainers with incomes between 101 percent and 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

LePage has refused to expand Medicaid because he's not willing to raise taxes, but that's a misnomer.

Taxpayers in Maine are already paying for Medicaid expansion even if they're unable to participate in it. Federal tax dollars collected from residents of Maine are already being used to fund Medicaid expansion in other states and state tax dollars are already covering higher costs for health care and sick people without insurance. Medicaid expansion will reduce costs for the state by shifting the burden to the federal side of the program. The federal government still covers over 90 percent of Medicaid expansion.

LePage isn't saving anyone money. He's costing them money.