Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Issue: Environmental and Social Justice
Program Topic: The LePage Medicaid cuts approved by the federal government; continuing efforts to eliminate BPA from food packaging in Maine
Key Discussion Points:
a) This week, the federal government gave a decision on the significant Maine Care cuts the LePage administration and the Republican led Maine legislature made last session.
b) The governor had hoped to make $20 million in cuts , but now is looking at $4 million. The cuts that have been allowed, however, will still cause 15,000 low income Mainers to lose their Maine Care health insurance and over 5,000 low income seniors and Mainers with disabilities to lose some coverage.
c)This summer a citizen initiative, signed by 900 Mainers, was presented to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) asking the board to pass a rule requiring that the toxic plastic additive Bishenol A (BPA) be removed from bay and toddler food packaging sold in Maine. The board is slated to make a decision this month.
Govenor LePage issued a memo last week requesting the BEP to deny the ban on BPA in toddler food packaging.
Sarah Gagne Holmes, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners , www.mejp.org
Emma Halas-O’Conner, grassroots organizer with the Environmental Health Strategy Center, www.preventharm.org