Gov. Paul LePage has made it clear he has no interest in setting up a state-based health insurance exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act. Similarly, he has no interest in participating in the federal law’s expansion of Medicaid.
LePage is also awaiting word from the federal government on whether Maine can cut about 36,000 low-income people from its Medicaid roles, and many have concluded that at least some of those cuts — which the LePage administration had been counting on to balance the state budget — are not allowed under the Affordable Care Act.
And now that Democrats who don’t see eye to eye with LePage on the federal health care reform law have recaptured control of the Legislature, Maine has landed on Politico’s list of “5 states to watch” on implementing Obamacare.
“Maine Democrats have said they’re going to use their new majorities in both chambers to push ACA implementation,” writes Politico’s Jason Millman. “While LePage can still veto whatever’s coming out of the Legislature, it looks like a heated health care debate isn’t going away in Maine.”
Maine joins Florida, Idaho, Arizona and Arkansas on the list.