September 17, 2013

LePage: Study backs no broader Medicaid

However, two health care experts say the same study makes the case for expanding the program.

By Joe Lawlor jlawlor@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

"Combining this state and local savings with the expansion's $8 billion increase in total state Medicaid costs, we find the expansion would generate $10 billion in net state savings from 2013-2022," said the November 2012 research on the Kaiser Family Foundation's website.

Even without factoring in savings for uncompensated care, Maine is one of a handful of states that would save money through 2022 by hooking on to Medicaid expansion, Democratic leaders in the State House said Monday.

"Estimates from the non-partisan Kaiser Foundation and the conservative Heritage Foundation show that Maine will save $690 million to cover nearly 70,000 Maine people over the course of a decade," said a news release issued by the office of House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick.

Eves slammed LePage in the news release.

"Gov. LePage is spreading misinformation about a bill that would make it easier for more Maine families to see a family doctor when they are sick," Eves said. "We are talking about tens of thousands of hardworking Mainers who work as cashiers at our grocery and hardware stores, who care for our seniors, and nearly 3,000 veterans who served our country. These are the Maine people who will benefit from health care expansion."

LePage argued that not expanding Medicaid would keep the system financially solvent.

"We have to make sure our safety net is protected," LePage said. "The rates we pay providers need to be sufficient to ensure that individuals on the program can get access to care. We have to address the challenges with the system to take care of those on the program now, before we can consider expanding to new members."

Joe Lawlor can be contacted at 791-6376 or at:

jlawlor@pressherald.com

Twitter: @joelawlorph

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