Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Issue: Environmental and Social Justice
Program Topic: Medicaid Loophole in ACA, Maine
Key Discussion Points:
a) Despite the Affordable Care Act’s original design to have coverage in the US, the courts granted states the right to opt out of the Medicaid expansion portion of the law, which would provide subsidies for those who could not afford it. In the first 3 years, the federal government would pay 100% of the program, and after that 90%. 26 states, including Maine have opted out. Though Maine’s legislature approved the Medicaid expansion, LePage vetoed it, forcing the opt out.
b) On January 1st, 70,000 Mainers will lose or be denied access to healthcare through Medicaid. 24, 000 will lose MaineCare through state cuts and an additional 45,000 who would have been covered by the ACA’s Mediciad expansion will be left without coverage.
c) We also look at yesterday’s unveiling by LePage’s Offcie of policy and Management proposal to make over $30 million in state cuts, including to Head Start and General Assistance, and at House Republican leader, Rep. Fredette’s two bills that would reform Maine’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
A) Christine Hastedt, Maine Equal Justice Partners, (www.mejp.org)