Archives for Mainecare

RadioActive 5/31/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Puerto Rico Deaths After Hurricane Maria and LePage refuses to Expand MaineCare after Referendum

Key Discussion Points:

This week the New England Journal of Medicine published a Harvard study which places the death toll in Puerto Rico, as a result of Hurricane Maria, at 4,645, as opposed to the federal government’s official claim of 64. We speak with a nurse from Bangor, Maine who traveled to Puerto Rico twice as part of the RN Response Network following Hurricane Maria, and witnessed the conditions of an unaddressed medical crisis that indicated a much higher rate of deaths would result.

Last month, Maine Equal Justice Partners filed a lawsuit against the LePage Administration for its failures to implement the expansion or Medicaid, or Maine Care, as directed by the passage of last November’s referendum.

The LePage Administration has not met deadlines to expand Medicaid access to Maine residents in preparation for the set goal of July 2nd for new enrollment. 70,000 Mainers would be eligible to receive health care coverage under the expansion.

Amy Tidd, Bangor RN, National Nurses United, RN Response Network
Robyn Merrill, executive director, Maine Equal Justice Partners

RadioActive 10/3/13

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, (

RadioActive 6/7/12

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: The Maine legislature’s most recent cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services programs, including General Assistance and the Child Care Subsidy Program

Key Discussion Points (list at least 3):

a) The Maine legislature passes further budget cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). These include the elimination of 14,500 low income parents from MaineCare, who have income between 100-133% of the poverty level, and all 19 and 20 year olds under 150% of the poverty level. This effects an additional 7,000 Mainers. Both these measures and cuts to the Medicare Savings Program are currently in violation of the federal Affordable Care Act. The budget also includes cuts to the Drugs for the Elderly Program, and to the Fund for a Healthy Maine. Cuts to the latter include a $2 million reduction in state funding for Head Start, a $2 million cut to the Child Care Subsidy Program, $2.6 million to the Maine Families Home Visiting Program, and funding cuts for Family Planning and dental services.

b) Director of the City of Bangor Health and Community Services, Shawn Yardely discusses cuts to General Assistance. Yardley says 70-80% of recipients, who are not waiting for SSI application processing, are on the program for 3 months or less. The last round of cuts have reduced GA from $611 to $550. 80% of GA funds go towards housing. The cuts put a 9 month cap on GA housing aid.

c) Governor LePage’s press secretary says the administration plans to pursue further cuts.

A)Adrienne Bennett, press secretary for Governor Paul LePage
B) Shawn Yardely, Director of the City of Bangor Health and Community Services
C) “Maureen”, from South Portland. Budget cuts will effect her enrollment in the Child Care Subsidy, and possibly the MaineCare coverage she and her husband receive.

Call In Program: no

RadioActive 1/26/12

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Broadcast Time:4-4:30PM

Program Topic: Governor LePage’s Proposed Budget Cuts to Department of Health and Human Services programs, including MaineCare

Key Discussion Points:
a) We look at efforts to uncover the coordinated crackdown on Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country, through the US Conference of Mayors.
b) We look at restrictions to those on unemployment insurance, under the proposed bill LD 1725, “An Act to Strengthen the Unemployment Insurance Laws and Reduce Fraud”.
c) And, we check in on the status of the massive cuts to low income social service and healthcare programs, proposed by Governor LePage. 65,000 people could be cut from MaineCare The Appropriations Committee has already agreed to cut funding for “Wrap Around Maine”, which has helped struggling youth turn their lives around.

Guests by name and affiliation:
A) Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, director of The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund : ,
B) Jack McKay, director of Food and Medicine :
C )Ana Hickes, Senior Policy Analyst at Maine Equal Justice Partners :,

Call In Program: No
Political Broadcast: No

Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Engineer: Meredith DeFrancesco