LePage to Democrats: I'll give up my pension if you pay the hospitals


AUGUSTA – Republican Gov. Paul R. LePage said Wednesday via Twitter that he would give up his pension if Democratic leaders in Augusta would simply agree to his proposal to repay Maine’s hospitals with revenue from the liquor contract.

LePage Tweet

The Governor, who is enjoying his yearly vacation in Jamaica, offered the deal in response to Assistant Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson’s (D-Allagash) attempt to take away pensions from governor’s who do not serve two terms.

[RELATED: Democratic Rep. Attacks Gov. LePage on Pension]

Jackson’s bill, which comes amid serious debates over Maine’s budget, was widely acknowledged by both Republicans and Democrats as a partisan attack on the Governor.

[RELATED: Maine Democrats Lack Priorities]

Although  Democrats have decided to back away from their pension-grabbing bill after this week’s State House deliberations, it is unclear whether they will agree to LePage’s hospital repayment proposal.

State House sources were not optimistic about the Democrats willingness to compromise.


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  1. not to be petty but omg I can’t believe he’s in Jamaica. wait wait he’s human. everyone needs a vacation….. no pension & no healthcare be kind of cool the demos replied: #done.

  2. “At the end of the day, all we have is our character,” LePage said. “And a good character is you live by what you say you are going to do and you pay your bills. And I sure believe the state of Maine should not have the reputation of not paying its bills.”[1].

    To some the governor is demonstrating leadership, by defining the core values of Mainers; “live by what you say you are going to do and you pay your bills”. This will no doubt create some chest thumping.

    To others the governor is simply manipulative; embarrass the citizens into thinking payment of an economic debt is a matter of morality.

    Economic debt is the obligation to pay a certain sum of money; a simple, cold, and impersonal transaction and transferable. Human effects are not calculated, only principle and interest.

    Morality refers to a code of conduct that applies to all who can understand it and can govern their behavior by it; morality should never be overridden, that is, no one should ever violate a moral prohibition or requirement for non-moral considerations.

    How is our sense of morality and justice reduced to the language of a business deal; a moral obligation becomes an economic debt? Money. It is money’s capacity to turn morality into a matter of impersonal arithmetic, justifying what would otherwise seem outrageous or obscene.

    Consider in 2010 voters approved the Oxford Casino under the promise that 46 percent of the profits would help fund public education in Maine. However, unless something has changed, the governor intends to use those funds ($14 million) to address a gap in the state’s budget.

    In doing so the governor broke a promise between the state and its citizens on where the $14 million was to be spent. A debt obligation involving a budget gap took precedence over a moral obligation in the education of children; “good character is you live by what you say you are going to do.”.

    With respect to the hospital debt, an article in the Bangor Daily News provided a historical analysis of how the debt came to its current amount of $484 million[2]. However, the data was provided by DHHS whose inconsistent financial reporting over the last two years raises the following questions.

    If the state struggles with understanding the area of their own financial house related to healthcare, why should I believe the state is correct in stating what is owed to the hospitals?

    Has there been an audit of the $484 million hospital bill by a third-party?

    When the bill comes at a restaurant, or to our home, it is normal to validate its accuracy before we pay it. We’ve all experienced inaccurate bills and had them corrected. What if an audit discovered $14 million (3% of $484 million) in erroneous hospital billing?

    Further, has Maine been billed fairly by the hospitals? An extensive essay in Time[3] brings to light the significant markup in healthcare. Who benefits from these markups, the hospital, hospital executives, and/or middle-men? Paying 95 cents on the dollar would result in a payment of $460 million, a reduction of $24 million. That’s $14 million to cover the debt gap mentioned previously and $10 million for education, using the governor’s sense of priorities.

    The governor’s manipulative approach to embarrass the citizens of Maine is an insult; pushing his agenda through a grass roots effort while holding bonds and bills hostage is condescending to the intellect of all Mainers. That is the “character” of Maine’s governor.

  3. Remove all pension and health benefits from the legislative body also. Why should taxpayers bear the burden to pay the cost for part-time public servants?

  4. Deadbeat Dems continue to deny Hospitals their due….ARGGGH.

    As a small business entrepreneur–(.Bakery Project, Mainewatch Information services, Poppadata, Global Village learning, and Katahdin Energy Works), I know all too well how wealthy clients blackmail you into providing more that was bargained for, by holding payment hostage to their demands.

    Eliot Cutler sang the same tune on WGAN this morning and stated that withholding payment until the service provider made some operational changes was a reminder of how pushy people who owe you money became when they are allowed to not pay you……they simply demand more and more and more.

    Even worse they mask their demands in moral outrage and innuendo, i.e. class warfare, corporations always cheat and steal from the working man…..you’ve heard the language putting the deadbeats on a moral high horse to ride around, while insisting they will pay you but never due unless forced to.

    And to the average listener, it sounds like they have more ‘moral character’ than those ‘evil hospitals’ who ‘overbill’ and really should be audited closely because ‘as we all know’ they overcharge all the time and ‘screw the working man and the sick and helpless’.


    And best of all is that Gov. LePage knows how this game is played and threw it in their face with his pension offer; an offer which undercuts their moral posturing and if accepted reveals how crass and immoral they are. And if rejected, it reveals the other side of a dirty coin, which is that the pension denial is simply dirty politics at its worse.

  5. I knew Sen. Jackson was a jerk but know I know just how big of a jerk he really is. Since the Dems have taken back both chambers, the blatant Hostility is back in a big way. Makes me want to leave Maine for a more Conservative State.

  6. Leave it to our awesome Governor LePage to call the Dems bluff. When they proposed that bill, it revealed something about the way they think. They personally are so completely hooked on government money that they could not imagine anyone, for any reason, giving up thier pension to assure paying someone else, no matter how important that payment was to the rest of the people in the state of Maine. In other words, for Dems, it’s “Me first, no matter what.”


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