Medicaid Expansion

Medicaid expansion is ruining budgets in other states, just like it did in Maine

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The Maine people are being told that if Medicaid is not expanded, children and the elderly will suffer. Folks, it’s not true–it’s just the opposite.

Medicaid is for impoverished children, the elderly and low-income people. They will continue to receive Medicaid, with or without Medicaid expansion. No one will be kicked off.

The truth is that Medicaid expansion will just give able-bodied adults free healthcare. Most of these adults do not have children, and they should be working. Then they can get insurance on the exchanges or contribute to the cost of their own health care through their employers.

We don’t mind helping people get health care, but it should not be free. “Free” is very expensive to somebody. When Maine expanded Medicaid in 2002, it created a $750 million hospital debt, and it ruined the state’s budget. We cannot go down this road again.

Another Medicaid expansion would cost $500 million over the next five years, and hard-working Mainers would have to pay the bill. Social activists claim the federal government will pick up most of the tab. That’s simply not true.

States that took the bait and expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare are now paying the price. The cost of Medicaid expansion is soaring beyond their projections and creating massive budget shortfalls.

A Senate Committee in Washington, D.C. is investigating why Medicaid costs are so out of control. In Ohio, new enrollees exceeded estimates by 60%, and the cost per enrollee jumped by 30%. In Michigan, costs skyrocketed by 72%, and the cost per enrollee surged by 86%.

Next door in New Hampshire, Medicaid expenses increased a whopping 253% between 2014 and 2015.

Other states facing financial disasters from Medicaid expansion include Illinois, California, West Virginia, New York and Hawaii.

New Hampshire found out the hard way what Maine had already experienced. In 2015, nursing homes in New Hampshire were facing the loss of $7 million because Medicaid expansion blew a $58 million hole in their DHHS budget.

In Maine, Medicaid expansion took money from our nursing homes and put vulnerable people on waitlists for services they need and deserve. Many are still languishing on these waitlists.

Another Medicaid expansion will take money away from our elderly in nursing homes. These are our parents and our grandparents. They have worked hard their entire lives. Our elderly deserve a good quality of life in their twilight years.

They shouldn’t be punished so activists can give “free” health care to able-bodied adults.

So don ’t believe the hype about Medicaid expansion. It is not for children or the elderly. It is just “free” healthcare for people who should be working–and you will pay the price.

About Paul LePage

Governor Paul LePage (R) has served as the 74th Governor of Maine since 2011. Prior to his time as governor, LePage served as the general manager of Marden's and as the mayor of Waterville.

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