Inside Augusta

Baldacci condemns Maine Democrats’ “murder” message on Medicaid expansion



Gov. John E. Baldacci

Former Maine Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, condemned the Maine Democrats’ Medicaid expansion mudslinging campaign during a Thursday morning segment of WGAN’s Ken and Mike Show.

The Maine People’s Alliance, a Democratic political activism non-profit, launched a website ( that suggests Republican Gov. Paul LePage and many GOP legislators are killers for refusing to support an expansion of Medicaid. On the basis of two thoroughly debunked articles, MPA claims that 157 Maine people will die unless Medicaid eligibility is expanded to 100,000 able-bodied adults.

The Maine Democratic Party, several Democratic elected officials, and the Democratic Maine Center for Economic Policy embraced the tactic shortly after the Website launched, changing various Twitter and Facebook profile pictures to a black image bearing the 157 number.

But not all Maine Democrats are willing to call people with whom the disagree murderers.

Consider the following exchange between talk show host Mike Violette and gov. Baldacci:

Host Mike Violette: “This Medicaid expansion thing, it’s gotten kind of personal.  The Democrats are now, their website, their Facebook pages, their Twitter accounts, are all ablaze with this ‘157’ number; the number of people they say will die as a direct result of Gov. Paul LePage.  Do you support that, Governor?  Do you support that kind of propaganda, for lack of a better term?

Gov. Baldacci: “Unfortunately the hyperbole on both sides is not to be anything that you’d want to write home about, and, you know, I don’t agree with that kind of strategy . . . Unfortunately, it’s an election year and it tends to denigrate into hyperbole . . . .”

The MPA is a 501(c)4 nonprofit that has endorsed U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud’s gubernatorial candidacy and has made expenditures on his behalf via a political action committee.

The Democratic activists have continued to defend their attack website despite serious flaws with the studies on which it relies. In fact, one of the studies their Website links to actually shows a statistically insignificant increase in mortality in Maine after the last expansion of Medicaid.

Mike Tipping, MPA’s blogger and spokesman, even hung up on a reporter when asked about the studies.

About Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson is the former editor of The Maine Wire and currently the executive producer of the Kirk Minihane Show. Follow him on Twitter @BigSteve207.

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