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

Everything comes with a cost: the perilous (and unnecessary) fate of the Portland Free Clinic

June 4, 2014 by

Despite the historic opportunity offered by the federal funds available to expand Medicaid to cover Maine’s uninsured, millions of dollars earmarked for our state have been lost – more than $143 million since January 1 -repudiated in a din of partisan politics.  The governor vetoed majority votes in favor of Medicaid expansion five times.  But decisions have consequences – and one of the consequences might be the future of the … Read the rest

Between the lines of stockholder calls, refusing Medicaid expansion bad for hospitals’ balance sheets

May 14, 2014 by

First-quarter financial results are in, and the CEOs of some of America’s publicly-traded hospitals systems are finding Medicaid expansion is good for business. And they are reporting big differences between their facilities in states that have expanded Medicaid and the hospitals in states still refusing federal healthcare dollars.  In states that have accepted federal healthcare funds and worked to promote the ACA, hospital executives are realizing significant increases in the … Read the rest

Employer Mandate: Theory, practice and those pesky federal deficits . . .

May 13, 2014 by
Mitchell Stein

Mitchell Stein

The Urban Institute (UI) recently released a new analysis of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer mandate (Why Not Just Eliminate the Employer Mandate?) and what the impact would be if the employer mandate were eliminated.

UI concludes that:

“. . . eliminating the employer mandate will not reduce insurance coverage significantly, contrary to its supporters’ expectations. Eliminating it will remove labor market distortions that have … Read the rest

More evidence that accepting federal funds to expand health care is the right prescription for Maine

May 6, 2014 by

A new study finds that Romneycare – the Massachusetts health insurance program that was used as a model for the Affordable Care Act – has prevented 230 deaths a year since it began in 2006.  Since this study collected data on 270,000 people for a full four years – not just the initial months after people were covered – this is the best evidence yet that health insurance and access … Read the rest

Small Businesses and the Self-employed Will Lose if Maine Does Not Accept Federal Health Care Funds

April 22, 2014 by

Maine has a higher-than-average number of small businesses and one in seven Mainers is self-employed. More than half of Mainers are self-employed as farmers, loggers, fishermen, and many other professions. Small business owners and the self-employed drive Maine’s economy. They also face the steepest barriers to affordable healthcare because many of these jobs tend to be low-wage, especially in rural areas. If Maine does not accept federal funds to expand … Read the rest

The LePage Case against Medicaid Expansion: A House of Cards Built on Fallacies, Contradictions, and Ideology

April 18, 2014 by

 “We cannot go grab federal money without understanding just how much Maine taxpayers will wind up paying. Furthermore, it is incredibly irresponsible to put taxpayers on the hook when federal health care subsidies are available that would provide virtually free health care for low-income Mainers.”

– Governor LePage, Press Statement, April 17, 2014

Last night Maine lawmakers passed an amended proposal to accept federal funds and provide health coverage to … Read the rest

State Policies Are Failing Maine’s Working Moms

February 12, 2014 by

In 2012, women headed one of every three low-income working families in Maine, according to a new report released today by the Working Poor Families Project.

These are women who are working, but still do not earn enough to meet their families’ needs. Maine’s economic policies are failing these low-income, female-headed households.

The report, “Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future,” lays out policies … Read the rest

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