Joined by Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee yesterday, Maine’s Democratic nominee for governor Janet Mills vowed today that, if elected, she would fully implement Medicaid expansion and defend against any attempts to roll back or undermine the voter-approved law.
“Medicaid expansion is the law, and as governor, I pledge not only to fully implement it, but to protect it from anyone who would attempt to undermine it,” wrote Mills in a press release issued yesterday. “Medicaid expansion will inport millions of federal dollars into our state that will help jobs, strengthen our economy, support hospitals in rural Maine and enable more than 70,000 people to gain health insurance. Medicaid expansion makes sense, that’s why Maine people overwhelmingly approved it at the ballot box and that’s why I will implement it and defend it as governor.”
During the press conference yesterday in Westbrook, Mills spoke of the substantial benefits that Medicaid expansion would bring to Maine including increasing injecting $500 million per year of federal money into the state creating an estimated 6,000 new jobs, growing the economy and extending health insurance to more than 70,000 Maine people.
Mills pledge to implement and defend Medicaid expansion came just hours after news broke that Republican Governor Paul LePage said he would rather go to jail than implement the law and just days after he vetoed – for the seventh time – a bipartisan bill that vetoed by LePage utilized $35 million in funding that Mills secured as Attorney General through settlements with tobacco companies. Maine people have also taken LePage’s administration to court to force him to begin implementation. As Attorney General Mills refused to defend LePage in the lawsuit.
Governor LePage’s hand-picked successor. Shawn Moody, has also repeatedly said that he opposes Medicaid expansion that “we can’t let it happen that he would work to repeal it as Governor.” MOody’s opposition to Affordable Health Care doesn’t end with Medicaid expansion, however. He also opposes the Affordable Care Act and has said that health care is not a right, it’s a privilege that is earned.”