Legislature’s Opioid Task Force report overlooks key factors in addiction crisis

January 2, 2018 by

James Myall

Another year has come and gone with no sign that the pace of drug related deaths – more than one a day – is slowing.

On Wednesday, January 3, the Legislature’s Task Force to Address the Opioid Crisis in the State will present its final report to the Health and Human Service Committee.

The final report includes many important recommendations, ranging from de-stigmatizing the language around drug … Read the rest

Health care for tens of thousands of Mainers under threat; proposed “fix” is insufficient

December 6, 2017 by

James Myall

Earlier this year, Mainers were justifiably proud of Senator Susan Collins for standing strong in the face of efforts to take health care away from tens of thousands of Mainers. Unfortunately, the tax bill making its way through Congress will have the same effect if passed. While Senator Collins has attempted to mute these adverse consequences by offering a separate proposal in conjunction with Senator Nelson of … Read the rest

Senate Health Care Band-Aids Won’t Fix Damage in Tax Bill 

November 29, 2017 by

James Myall

US Senate Republicans have offered only temporary, Band-Aid fixes to try to reassure holdouts on their tax bill like Maine’s Senator Susan Collins. These proposals will not fully heal the wound inflicted on the health care system by repealing the individual mandate, a critical piece of the Affordable Care Act. Despite this, Senate Republicans are pushing ahead with their tax overhaul which is expected to explode the deficit, … Read the rest

For thousands of sick low-income Mainers, Medicaid Expansion is their only hope for affordable care

September 28, 2017 by

James Myall

The November ballot question to expand Medicaid coverage to Mainers living below or near poverty will allow more than 70,000 people access to affordable health care. MECEP’s recent report, The State of Working Maine 2017, demonstrates just how important good public health is to a healthy economy.

Since 2001, tens of thousands of Mainers of prime working age have left the work force, and these “lost workers” … Read the rest

Despite Latest Revisions, Senate GOP Health Care Proposals Would Still Gut MaineCare

July 14, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

On Thursday, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laid out the Republicans’ latest plan to take health care away from thousands of Mainers.

The many Republican proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act have consistently been dangerous to the economic and physical well-being of Mainers. This latest revision is no different. By maintaining the most damaging part of their proposal, Senate Republicans have shown that their real goal Read the rest

MaineCare is Failing to Tackle Maine’s Opioid Crisis. Voters Have a Chance to Fix That.

July 13, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

Across the United States, Medicaid is playing a crucial role in responding to the fight against the opioid crisis—except in Maine—where one person per day is dying from a drug-related overdose, most of which are caused by opioid use. That’s the stark conclusion to be drawn from data presented in a new report from the Urban Institute, which shows Medicaid spending on anti-addiction medications up 155% Read the rest

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

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