The Bangor Daily News published an editorial on Monday that urged the Maine Legislature to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a Medicaid expansion bill.
The editors, in their zeal to blast a governor they clearly dislike, substituted facts for Democrat Party talking points and snide down-talking.
“We didn’t expect him to be open to the idea of extending health insurance to tens of thousands of Maine’s poorest,” the editors oozed.
Medicaid is not health insurance. It is a welfare program. It is also a broken and dysfunctional welfare program that has strained Maine’s budget for more than a decade. By construing the Medicaid expansion proposal in this manner, BDN’s editorial writers accidentally or willfully advanced the misleading language Democrats and liberal interest groups have used since Obamacare was upheld by the Supreme Court.
“We expected him,” the prophetic editors further ooze, “to argue that the federal government isn’t likely to hold to its promise and pay all the costs of expanding to newly eligible adults for three years — even though the legislation would end the program after three years and then require a re-evaluation.”
This is outright false. DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew has made clear that any future reduction in eligibility would require permission from the federal government. This is because the Supreme Court’s decision prohibited the federal government from mandating Medicaid expansion, but did not prevent the federal government from prohibiting a state from opting out. In other words, the sunset clause is symbolic, as the decision to “opt out” ultimately depends on the federal government. The legislation would not end the program after three years; the editors are wrong for asserting so.
The editors, in a screed that drips with sarcasm, hatred, and political advocacy, stated repeatedly that LePage’s decision to veto Medicaid expansion was “unsurprising.”
You know what else is unsurprising? That the editors of a major Maine newspaper would attack LePage, that they would print as truth unfounded talking points, and that they would pat themselves on the back for a job well done.