Last Nov. 7, Maine voters overwhelmingly supported expanding MaineCare (Medicaid) benefits to over 70,000 low-income adults who lack health care coverage. Maine fulfilled its motto, “Dirigo,” in being the first state in the Union to successfully achieve this goal by popular vote. Medicaid expansion is now the law and must be implemented.

For years, Gov. LePage has unreasonably and repeatedly opposed Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Efforts by the Maine Legislature have failed repeatedly to overcome the governor’s obdurate objection to providing health care access to the poor who are without coverage. Maine people resorted to the referendum process to achieve this goal: they succeeded by an overwhelming majority; the people won and the governor lost.

But LePage is not powerless, despite being unable to reverse the referendum results by veto. April 3 is the deadline for Maine to submit its required plan for Medicaid expansion to the federal Health and Human Services Department. Thus far, the Legislature has not been given any indication that the LePage administration will submit a plan. Such action would sabotage the expansion effort, and would create chaos and protracted legal action to force the issue.

We urge that all of us contact our representatives and senators to listen to the voice of the people and make certain that the governor and his executive agencies fulfill their duty to submit the required plan. Maine people are counting on this.

Barbara and Peter Shaw