Governor-elect Janet Mills, Senator President Troy Jackson (D-Allagash) and House Speaker Sara Gideon, (D- Freeport) announced today that the first bill to be introduced in the 129th Legislature will be – LD 1 – “An Act to Protect Health Care Coverage for Maine Families.”
Governor-elect Janet Mills at a Recent Press Conference in Portland. The bill introduced by President Jackson, seeks to require insurance companies to require insurance companies to include basic patient protections in health care plans offered in Maine. “I refuse to stand idly by as forces in Washington and elsewhere work to stop Maine people of critical coverage for pre-existing conditions and other essential health benefits like mutual health and maternity and newborn care,” said Governor-elect Mills. “Maine can do more to strengthen its laws and align them with the protections guaranteed in the Affordable Care Act. That’s why my Administration will move immediately, in concert with the Legislature, to help protect Mainers with pre-existing conditions, regardless of what happens at the federal level.” While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will remain in effect as the court decision undergoes an appeals process, state leaders and lawmakers do not want to take chances. This bill will codify the patient protections outlined at the in the ACA into state law. Patient protections include the coverage of essential health benefits, individuals with pre-existing conditions, any young adults who wish to remain on their parent’s health plan until the age of 26. This bill would also prevent insurance companies from changing seniors much higher premiums. President Troy Jdackson sponsored similar legislation last session, which was ultimately vetoed by the governor. The latest iteration of this bill comes in response to the recent ruling out of Texas threating the constitionality of the ACA and the the patient protections that acome with it. The 129th Legislature will reconvene Wednesday, January 2nd for the inauguration of the Governor-elect Janet Mills.