"The Obama Administration did the right thing in requiring that coverage be continued for many needy Maine families," Pingree said. "Especially in this weak economy, now is not the right time to pull the rug out from under people who are struggling to get by."
Pingree did, however, express disappointment that the LePage Administration was given permission to reduce coverage for some seniors anddisabled individuals.
"We expected federal officials to give the state permission to end coverage for adults making more than 133% of the poverty level but I'm very disappointed that the LePage Administration will be allowed to reduce coverage for over 5,000 seniors and disabled Mainers," Pingree said. "We should be working to find ways to get coverage for more families, not fewer."
Pingree had written to federal officials arguing the "maintenance of effort" portion of the health care reform law passed by Congress ensures that states are required to maintain existing Medicaid programs until new health insurance exchanges open in 2014. Pingree wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last summer urging her to protect coverage for parents with incomes between 100% and 133% of the federal poverty level, 19 and 20 year olds and seniors and people with disabilities.