December 27, 2013

Bill to replace troubled MaineCare rides system faces uphill fight

The plan to put local groups back in charge would need Republican support to survive a possible LePage veto.

By Joe Lawlor jlawlor@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Sen. Colleen Lachowicz

LePage’s comments drew criticism from Democrats, who noted that waiting for renewal time in August would mean that Coordinated Transportation Solutions would be on the job for another eight months.

Another bill up for consideration would simply cancel the company’s contracts.

Farnsworth said that measure is helpful but wouldn’t address the root of the problem, which is a system that adds a layer of bureaucracy.

Lachowicz said she looked to Vermont’s system this summer as she anticipated the problems.

“I looked to a state that was like us, rural and relying on volunteer drivers,” she said. “They’re like us, and their rides program is working.”

Trish Riley, who worked for the DHHS under Democratic administrations as director of public health policy, said there’s no doubt that the system is having problems, but she questions whether it’s the Legislature’s role to force-feed a solution to the executive branch.

“It is beyond the oversight role of the Legislature, and gets into the Legislature operating the department,” Riley said. “It is an executive function to administer contracts.”

Legislators who back the bill dispute that view and say the MaineCare rides program is an extraordinary circumstance.

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

jlawlor@pressherald.com

Twitter: @joelawlorph

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)