Maine Chamber will not support Medicaid expansion

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msccThe Maine State Chamber of Commerce (MSCC) will remain neutral with regard to Medicaid expansion legislation (L.D. 1487) introduced by Sens. Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) and Tom Saviello (R-Franklin). 

The decision follows a vote of the MSCC board in which only a plurality of members, 18, voted to endorse the legislation, while 9 voted against and 10 abstained, according to an email MSCC President Dana Connors.

Connors’ email appears here in full:

I wanted to take a moment to update you on recent board meetings regarding proposed legislation to expand the MaineCare program.  After several meetings and many hours of thoughtful discussion, the Board of Directors of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce took two votes to determine its action regarding LD 1487, the Medicaid expansion / managed care legislation currently before the Maine State Legislature.

The first question posed to the board asked if the Maine State Chamber of Commerce should take a position on this legislation. With a vote of 22 in support and 16 in opposition, the board was then presented with a second question: Should the organization support or oppose LD 1487? The outcome of the second vote was 18 supporting Medicaid expansion with a managed care component, 9 opposing, and 10 abstaining. The 18 votes in support represented a plurality but because the Maine State Chamber’s bylaws require a majority of those present to take a formal position it was two votes shy of the necessary votes.

This vote reflects the differing views we are finding among Maine’s business community on the issue of Medicaid expansion.  Our board held countless meetings and had many thoughtful and thorough discussions on the issue, giving it the immense respect and attention it deserves. In this case, the 18 votes endorsing LD 1487 did not constitute a majority. Therefore, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce cannot take a formal position on the bill before the Maine Legislature regarding Medicaid expansion in Maine.

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