Maine citizens on Election Day voted to increase Medicaid protection to an estimated 70,000 in their neighbors by means of overwhelmingly approving a poll initiative 59 % to 41 % with two-thirds of precincts reporting their vote tallies, in line with The Associated Press by way of the Portland Press Herald.
The consequence of the vote on Maine’s Question 2 is a win for the ones low-income Mainers who were not able to get right of entry to well being protection thru this system, referred to as MaineCare within the Pine Tree State, and a political loss for Gov. Paul LePage (R), who led the general public opposition to the poll initiative after vetoing 5 bipartisan expenses to reach the similar consequence since 2013.
The choice by means of Mainers to prolong well being protection to about 70,000 other folks ― which is greater than reside in Portland, the biggest town within the state ― stands against this to efforts on the nationwide degree by means of President Donald Trump and the GOP to repeal the Affordable Care Act and considerably reduce methods that assist other folks get coated.
That legislation referred to as for a national Medicaid enlargement to somebody incomes as much as 133 % of the federal poverty degree, which is set $16,000 for a unmarried particular person and $33,000 for a circle of relatives of 4. The Supreme Court, then again, dominated in 2012 that states may decide out of the growth.
After Maine’s vote, there are nonetheless 18 states that haven’t followed the coverage, and greater than 2 million other folks are uninsured as a result.
The effort to place Medicaid enlargement at the poll in Maine started on Election Day a yr in the past. Since then, Mainers for Health Care, a coalition of teams supporting enlargement, waged a statewide public consciousness, outreach and promoting marketing campaign to win over citizens. LePage and his allies did the similar thru a political motion committee they based referred to as Welfare to Work.
The Maine Medicaid enlargement received the endorsements of dozens of organizations within the state, together with the Maine Hospital Association, the Maine Medical Association, the Maine State Nurses Association and the state chapters of nationwide organizations just like the American College of Physicians and the American Nurses Association.
Medicaid enlargement changed into the legislation of the land in Maine with the result of Tuesday’s vote, however the advantages received’t be to be had to eligible citizens till the center of subsequent yr on the soonest, Robyn Merrill, a spokeswoman for Mainers for Health Care and government director of the felony assist group Maine Equal Justice Partners, mentioned in an interview earlier than Election Day.
The Maine legislature now should broaden a plan to pay for the state’s percentage of the price of Medicaid enlargement. Under the Affordable Care Act, the government will pay no less than 90 % of the expense and states should pick out up the remaining.