LePage vetoes medicaid expansion, hospital repayment

Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2013 in News

LePage vetoes medicaid expansion, hospital repayment

by Andi Parkinson

AUGUSTA -- Despite a projected savings to the state of hundreds of millions of dollars, Gov. Paul LePage on Friday vetoed LD 1546, a bill which would have paid the hospitals everything still owing to them, as well as expanding medicaid for poor Mainers.  Medicaid expansion would have been paid for in full by the federal goverment for at least three years, then at a high rate for the following seven years.

At a Hall of Flags ceremony surrounded by GOP legislators, Governor LePage on Thursday signed the letter to veto LD 1546, characterizing LD 1546, “An Act to Strengthen Maine Hospitals, Increase Access to Health Care and Provide for a New Spirits Contract,” as “tied payment of the hospital debt to welfare expansion” and then announced plans to reintroduce his own bill in its place.

“Democrat leadership has spent the past week forcing this bill through the legislative process, over the objections of Republicans and Democrats alike. This unadulterated partisanship tied two different issues together in a quest to force welfare expansion upon the Maine people. I have said all along this bill would receive a veto when it reached my desk, so this letter should be no surprise.

That is why I have filed a Governor’s bill today reflecting the parts of LD 1546 we all agree on—paying the hospitals and ensuring the liquor business provides the best return for the state—without the forced expansion of MaineCare. The Legislature will have the opportunity to vote up or down to pay the hospitals—I trust you will do the right thing.”

Press secretary Adrienne Bennett provided copies to the press of the letter the Governor read.

lepage veto lettr

The governor then informed those assembled of his plans to continue to hold the voter-approved bonds hostage unless his bill is passed through the Legislature, in what a press release categorized “a gesture of good faith”:

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