In response to a newsletter put out by Maine Medical Center CEO Richard W. Petersen and other hospitals that are lobbying for the expansion of Medicaid, Governor Paul R. LePage has issued a statement:
“It’s obvious the CEO of Maine Med and other hospitals do not care about taking resources away from our most vulnerable Mainers—including our elderly and intellectually and physically disabled people—just so they can give free, taxpayer-funded healthcare to adults who should be working and contributing to the cost of their own health insurance.
“Medicaid expansion will cost Mainers $500 million over the next five years. The last time Maine expanded Medicaid, the elderly and disabled were sent to the back of the line so working-age adults without dependents could get free healthcare. Now Maine Med and other hospitals want to do it again.
“These CEOs make millions of dollars a year, and now they want to raise taxes by $500 million on the backs of hard-working Mainers who will have to pay the bill. Shame on them. Hospitals are only concerned with their pocketbooks, and they don’t care about the hardships it will cause for taxpayers, the elderly and the disabled.
“Hospital CEOs claim the federal government will pay 90% of the costs of Medicaid expansion, but it’s not true. The 90% only covers a portion of those who would be added to Medicaid roles: able-bodied adults without children.
“Since hospitals are non-profit organizations, they don’t have to pay taxes on much of their vast real estate holdings. Mainers do not have that luxury—in addition to paying their own high premiums and deductibles, they will have to pay to give ‘free’ healthcare to adults who should be working.
“As I always say, ‘free’ is very expensive to somebody. If hospital CEOs have their way, that somebody would be Maine taxpayers.”