Governor Paul R. LePage issued a statement today about Congressman Mike Michaud's endorsement of Medicaid expansion.
Michaud, who is considering a run for governor in 2014, today told the Maine Peoples Alliance, a liberal activist group that promotes more welfare spending, that if Medicaid was expanded in Maine, an additional 69,500 residents would have coverage. "It will actually save the state money in the long run," Michaud said.
"The reimbursement rate from the federal government for Maine's existing Medicaid program has significantly decreased over the past three years," said Governor LePage. "The decrease in rates has created massive financial hardship for Maine. We have yet to receive any guarantee from the federal government that it can fully fund Medicaid expansion."
Maine is facing significant budget problems as a result of the last Medicaid expansion. The expansion was financed temporarily by federal stimulus money and neglecting to pay Maine's 39 hospitals resulting in a half billion dollar debt.
The federal debt has more than doubled since Rep. Michaud has been in Congress. Unlike the career politicians in Washington, D.C, the Maine Governor has to balance the budget. "Congressman Michaud, what is your plan to balance the federal budget, which already has a deficit of $17 trillion, and create a sustainable Medicaid program for our country?" the Governor asked. "Where does the money come from? You can't govern a state on empty promises from the federal government."