As a born-and-raised Mainer, I was taught fairness and honesty. Although my family and I have moved to Florida, where I launched the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), my made-in-Maine values remain strong.
That’s why I’m disappointed with the May 31 editorial attacking FGA research on Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion and its impact on patients and taxpayers – research cited in Maine House Minority Leader Ken Fredette’s recent Bangor Daily News op-ed (“Our View: Echo chamber ‘facts’ distort MaineCare debate”).
My disappointment in the editorial board isn’t because it opposes the conclusions of FGA’s nationally renowned researchers, who have testified before Congress five times and before 30 state legislative committees.
It’s because the editorial writers shun fairness and honesty for gutter journalism and slander. They accuse FGA of manufacturing statistics, lying about Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion exceeding cost projections and falsely claiming Arkansas officials were seeking a Washington bailout to cover these cost overruns. Their attacks are untrue.
Instead of condemning FGA’s research, the editorial writers should read it.
They would see that all cost data came directly from Arkansas’ Department of Human Services. And realize that when actual monthly spending is more than projected, spending is actually exceeding projections.
They would see that Arkansas officials are, in fact, planning to request more federal funding to cover cost overruns – which puts all American taxpayers on the hook for Arkansas’ out-of-control Medicaid expansion spending.
This isn’t surprising. Maine’s own pre-Obamacare Medicaid expansion also exceeded cost projections, resulting in disabled kids on waiting lists, hundreds of millions owed to hospitals and enrollment caps. I expect partisan ideologues to disregard facts, but shouldn’t we expect more from the editorial board?
As a Maine boy, I was taught to be honest and play fair. I was also taught to expect the same.
It’s unfortunate this standard is too high for the editorial board to meet.