Happy birthday to Medicaid and to the thousands of children whose lives it has saved

August 3, 2015 by

I will never forget one day when was in my late 20s, expecting my first baby. I happened to be alone with my grandmother in her tiny, gleaming kitchen. She paused, then asked gravely, “Now: have you put aside money for the hospital?”

“Well, not really, Grammy,” I stammered, perplexed by the question and her sudden seriousness. “We  . . . we have health insurance to cover it.”

She accepted … Read the rest

Another tilt at the windmill, more wasted taxpayer funds, but a win for uninsured Maine young people

June 8, 2015 by

The Supreme Court today declined to hear the LePage Administration’s appeal of a November 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against the Administration’s request to cut 6,000 low-income 19- and 20-year olds’ Medicaid coverage, leaving them uninsured.  One fact is evident on its face: consigning young Mainers to the ranks of the uninsured right out of high school graduation is bad policy.  It doesn’t reflect the economic realities of … Read the rest

New Report: Rejecting federal health care funds is costing Maine $26.7 million in General Fund savings

May 15, 2015 by

Medicaid expansion 5-14-2015Despite five bipartisan votes in favor of accepting federal healthcare funds to cover 70,000 uninsured Mainers, five successive vetoes by the governor have ensured that Maine has left nearly $1 billion on the table since 2014.  A report by an outside consulting firm has added a new wrinkle to Maine’s healthcare standoff: if policymakers accepted the federal funds, Maine would realize a net gain of $26.7 million in general fund … Read the rest

The results are in: Accepting federal healthcare funds strengthens state finances, creates jobs, and grows state economies

April 30, 2015 by

“The results are in. Other states are realizing tremendous benefits from accepting federal healthcare funds. It’s not too late for Maine to join them.”

by Christy Daggett and Mark Sullivan

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is taking advantage of a steep reduction in hospital claims for uncompensated care to save $148 million in state general revenue previously needed to provide care to the uninsured.

Governor Rick Snyder has used … Read the rest

Governor’s credit ratings claims ignore Maine’s precarious financial position

April 28, 2015 by

“The governor may tout his health care policies as good for the state . . .  But he is wrong. And Maine’s “AA” credit rating from Fitch, which is worse than it was in 2012, proves it.”

by Christy Daggett and Garrett Martin

When you apply to borrow money for a new house, a car, or some other purpose, you know that lenders will carefully weigh your credit rating before … Read the rest

The true tale of a health policy maverick

April 7, 2015 by
Ohio Governor John Kasich with Governor LePage in Augusta, March 26, 2015.

Ohio Governor John Kasich with Governor LePage in Augusta, March 26, 2015.

Ohio Governor John Kasich isn’t afraid of controversy, and he’s been taking his show on the road as of late. In Maine recently, he promoted a constitutional convention to force a balanced budget amendment. But the LePage Administration isn’t promoting Governor Kasich’s other controversial, more successful stand: Kasich bucked his party and championed accepting federal health care funds … Read the rest

Health coverage for thousands of working Mainers at risk in Supreme Court case

March 16, 2015 by

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments recently in the King v. Burwell case, and a lot is riding on the outcome, especially for Maine. The court will be deciding on whether Congress intended the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide subsidies to states like Maine that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges. If the court decides in favor of King and the other plaintiffs, exchange-enrolled Mainers now … Read the rest

Maine’s community colleges blaze the trail to prosperity for aspiring Maine workers

March 3, 2015 by

MCCS logo

Today, the presidents of Maine’s three public higher education systems reported to the Legislature on the state of their campuses, enrollments, and finances. The Maine Community College System (MCCS) report has been similar for several years – enrollments are up, but funding is flat. Allocating more resources to MCCS would remove a logjam restraining thousands of willing and qualified students across the state who are waiting to gain employment skills … Read the rest

After Sixteen Years of Progress Reducing Smoking Rates, Maine Shouldn’t Call Off the Fight

February 5, 2015 by

Up in Smoke 2-5-2015blog

The four major tobacco companies and the attorneys general of 46 states reached a master settlement agreement in 1998, acknowledging that the companies sold addictive products that caused an epidemic of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, the corporations agreed to pay $206 billion to the states over 25 years. The tobacco settlement is more than halfway over – states received the first payment in 1999. But many states have … Read the rest

Educational Opportunity: Opening Doors to Prosperity from Someone Who Knows

January 20, 2015 by

MEEOA_logoLast week, I was fortunate to be invited to speak on higher education funding at the annual conference of the Maine Educational Opportunity Association (MEEOA). MEEOA represents the federally-funded Upward Bound and TRIO programs, which serve over 10,000 Mainers – some adults, some people with disabilities, and many students in high-poverty middle schools and high schools across the state. Most of the students come from families earning less than $24,000 … Read the rest

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