GOP’s American Health Care Act Would Devastate Health Care in Rural Maine

May 16, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

New analysis from the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) demonstrates that the American Health Care Act (AHCA), as passed by the US House of Representatives, would undermine every part of the health care system in rural areas including most of Maine. By rolling back Medicaid expansion, allowing age-based price discrimination by insurers, and allowing states to waive requirements to cover pre-existing conditions, the AHCA threatens Read the rest

New report affirms education and infrastructure as foundations of a strong state economy

April 13, 2016 by

Sarah Austin blog 11-16-2015The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released a report today that details a roadmap for stronger state economies. Central to the CBPP proven prescriptions for economic growth are strengthening education and infrastructure systems.  To pay for these priorities, CBPP recommends policy corrections to reduce unnecessary spending and increase revenue from high income individuals and corporations.

Since the recession, budget cuts to the education system at every level have … 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

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

ACA cost saving measures help turn McAllen, Texas from national basket case to bellwether in five years

September 25, 2014 by

Health reform hasn’t only reduced the rate of uninsured to levels not seen since the 1990s; it also is reducing healthcare costs, which ultimately will make healthcare more affordable for everyone.  The small city of McAllen, Texas grabbed the national spotlight five years ago as a place where costs and unneeded procedures were out of control.  Now, McAllen is making headlines again.  But this time, it’s a health … Read the rest

Health Reform is Making History – But Maine is Slipping Behind

September 22, 2014 by

History is happening: the percent of Americans without health coverage is the lowest it’s been since the 1990s. Medicare costs are declining – not just slowing – making the program more sustainable in the future. Maine’s 2015 marketplace premiums are either flat – or lower than last year. Health reform is working.

I happened across a time capsule this summer, and it brought home for me exactly how huge an … Read the rest

Attention: Important Census Data Ahead

September 12, 2014 by

Data Ahead 9-12-2014Next week the U.S. Census Bureau will have two major releases that will provide researchers, policymakers, the media, and the public with critically important data on poverty, income, and health insurance coverage nationally and state-by-state. On Tuesday (September 16) the bureau will unveil its Current Population Survey (CPS) and select information about health insurance coverage from its American Community Survey (ACS).  On Thursday (September 18) the bureau will release … Read the rest

A Divide and Conquer Strategy that Risks the Health of Maine’s Seniors and Working Poor

August 5, 2014 by

The classic “divide and conquer” strategy,  often attributed to cunning Julius Caesar, operates on the premise that pitting your adversaries against each other before you strike  is one sure path to victory. In a recent press release heralding $25.4 million in excess MaineCare funds now available to shore up struggling nursing homes, the LePage Administration appears to be following Caesar’s formula.

This funding is great news for nursing homes in … Read the rest

Maine’s bankrupt health policy

July 3, 2014 by


This year, 1,300 Mainers will be saddled with catastrophic health costs.  Here’s how it could have been avoided – while c
reating thousands of jobs and boosting state GDP.

Medicaid-bankruptcy 7-3-2014Yesterday, the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) released a report examining the differences between states that have accepted federal healthcare funds to expand Medicaid and the minority of states – including Maine – which still have not expanded.  Fittingly, … Read the rest

LePage’s Erroneous Bonds Policy Seriously Threatens Maine Hospital Finances

June 18, 2014 by

Last week, the (Lewiston) Sun Journal reported that the LePage Administration’s anti-bonding policies are forcing MaineGeneral Medical Center to pay $42 million more in interest on loans than is necessary on the construction of their new hospital in Augusta. That’s $1.4 million in avoidable interest payments annually for 30 years.

MHHEFAThe legislature created the Maine Health and Higher Education Facilities Authority (MHHEFA) to allow entities like hospitals, nursing homes, public … Read the rest

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