Crown Politics

Advocates say they will take Maine Medicaid expansion fight to court

AUGUSTA, Maine — Supporters of Medicaid expansion are expected to file a long-awaited lawsuit against Maine on Monday for not implementing the voter-approved law that has been held up by Gov. Paul LePage, who wants the Legislature to first fund it on his terms.

Maine Equal Justice Partners, a progressive anti-poverty group, said in a news release that it would file a lawsuit Monday afternoon in Kennebec County Superior Court on behalf of organizations and individuals who will be eligible for Medicaid coverage in July under the law.

Maine became the first state to pass expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act at the ballot box in 2017, where 59 percent of voters backed it. But LePage — who has five times vetoed Medicaid expansion efforts passed by the Legislature — has blocked it thus far.

A day after it passed, the Republican governor said that he wouldn’t implement it unless lawmakers fund it at a disputed cost estimate and without tax hikes or raids of Maine’s surplus fund. Democrats have called his bluff and argued that it doesn’t need to be fully funded immediately.

The Fiddlehead Focus/St. John Valley Times is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “Advocates say they will take Maine Medicaid expansion fight to court,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Michael Shepherd, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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