The Healthcare Rally at the Maine State Capitol demanding that the voters get what they voted for in a referendum that would expand the ACA Medicaid expansion to Maine. courtesy photo
Voters Send Message to Maine Governor, Legislators: ‘We Are Watching’
Scores of Mainers turned out for a rally before Gov. Paul LePage’s State of the State Address to show their support for Medicaid expansion, which would provide health care to more than 70,000 people in the state.
“We’re here tonight to say to the governor and lawmakers: 70,000 of our friends, family members and neighbors are on track to obtain live-saving access to health care thanks to the work of Mainers who made history by expanding Medicaid at the ballot box,” said Lynnea Hawkins of Lewiston, a member of the Mainers for Health Care Leadership team. “We’re here to celebrate that victory and to ask lawmakers and the governor to implement Medicaid expansion without delay. We haven’t gone anywhere since Election Day, and we are watching.”
Since enactment, LePage, with support from some Republicans in the Legislature, has dragging his feet on Medicaid expansion, despite last year’s ballot initiative, which passed with the support of 59 percent of Maine voters.
“Medicaid expansion is the law. Maine people have spoken, and the obligation under the law is clear,” said Robyn Merrill, the co-chair of Mainers for Health Care and the executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners. “The new law requires that people begin to receive health care coverage on July 2, 2018. The LePage administration must follow the law. Voters sent a strong message. They want more than 70,000 Mainers to receive health coverage through Medicaid expansion. Mainers want more affordable health care, not less. They have waited long enough.”
Members of Mainers for Health Care, including people who will be impacted by Medicaid expansion, are available for interviews in response to the governor’s State of the State Address, in which he is expected to discuss the new law.