Healthcare

Paul LePage Threatens His Own Secretary of State Over Medicaid Expansion

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Governor and "man who somehow got elected" Paul LePage is threatening to file a lawsuit against the secretary of state of Maine if he doesn't lie about Medicaid expansion.

Organizers have collected enough signatures to hold a vote on a ballot initiative for expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, which is here to stay, but LePage is quibbling over the wording of the ballot initiative.

LePage is demanding that Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap describe Medicaid expansion as "welfare" on the ballot initiative so people will be less likely to vote for it.

It’s free health care paid for by the taxpayers, and it’s got to be said that way,” LePage told talk radio hosts at WGAN last Thursday. “It’s pure welfare. If you don’t want to call it welfare, call it an entitlement.

In the same interview, LePage threatened to sue the secretary of state if the final ballot language calls the Medicaid expansion “insurance.”

“I’m going to challenge that,” he vowed.

You all know LePage is wrong about Medicaid expansion, but the thing is he's wrong about Medicaid period and Maine does have a Medicaid program. Medicaid expansion is just that: an expansion of the existing program. And Medicaid is not "free" as anyone who has ever paid federal or state taxes of any kind has paid for it. Where do you think sales tax and fees go?

The people of Maine are already paying for Medicaid expansion. Refusing to expand Medicaid does not save the people of Maine any money. Their federal tax dollars are already paying for the program which the LePage administration has refused to participate in while other states do. This means the people of Maine are effectively paying for a program in New York and California which they cannot take advantage of.

If you believe Medicaid expansion is "welfare," well, you're wrong, but you're already paying for it anyway. The only difference is people in your own state cannot access a program they're paying for.

In hindsight, it's kind of ironic that the Supreme Court ruled that states do not have to participate in Medicaid expansion because what that really means is Republican state governments are free to ship their tax dollars out of state instead of keeping it in their own house. I guess that's "states' rights."

  • Christopher Foxx

    “It’s free health care paid for by the taxpayers, and it’s got to be said that way,” LePage told talk radio hosts at WGAN last Thursday. “It’s pure welfare. If you don’t want to call it welfare, call it an entitlement.”

    Y’now what. I’ll go for that. If, IF, in exchange, every time Republicans talk about removing regulations they have to instead call them “safeguards”.

  • Aynwrong

    Republican state governments are free to ship their tax dollars out of state instead of keeping it in their own house.

    2 + 2 = ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    I guess that’s “states’ rights.”

    “To paraphrase myself from the other day, anyone who thinks the Republican party is in anyway concerned with “states rights” does not understand the Republican party.

  • Republican state governments are free to ship their tax dollars out of state instead of keeping it in their own house.

    That’s funny, liberal states have been doing this for decades to keep the red states afloat. Welcome to the world of the grownups.

  • muselet

    “They’re trying to turn the question itself into political advocacy,” said David Farmer, the communications director of Mainers for Health Care, which is campaigning in favor of the Medicaid expansion. “The right wing has successfully turned ‘welfare’ into an inflammatory word, going all the way back to Ronald Reagan and his welfare queen story. They push the idea that welfare is people getting something they do not deserve. People also generally think of welfare as a cash-type benefit. But Medicaid is not a cash program. Medicaid pays your provider just like my insurance pays my provider.”

    [link omitted]

    Let’s hope the knees don’t jerk as hard as Paul LePage and his Righty allies want them to.

    –alopecia

    • The people of Maine will only have themselves to blame.

  • ozdog

    as i understand it, the only reason this obnoxious clown got elected is because there was an independent candidate running both times that split the democratic party vote.

    • Aynwrong

      These “independent/third way” clowns are as dangerous and as insufferable as the right wing lunatics that they enable.

      • Christopher Foxx

        The idiots who vote for third party candidates in a general election get what they deserve.

        Like it or not, we have a two party system and the only viable candidates for any governorship or any of the 537 federal offices is going to come from one of those two parties. IN primaries folks can spread their votes around trying to send messages. But when it comes to the general it’s time to grow up, suck it up, and vote for someone who can actually win.

  • David Greenberg

    As a former resident of Vermont, I always used to consider the people of Maine to be good neighbors, but now my good neighbors have embarrassed themselves by electing this repulsive POS. On the other hand, I live in Florida where an equally repulsive POS is governor- Rick Scott- so maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on them.

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