AUGUSTA – Responding to statements made by Democrat lawmakers last week threatening to file a lawsuit if Governor LePage does not allow Medicaid expansion to move forward before the expansion is paid for, Maine GOP Chair Demi Kouzounas today issued a strong rebuke.
Dr. Kouzounas, a dentist, says Democrats can’t “have their cake and eat it too” when it comes to pushing for passage of the referendum that allows Medicaid expansion, but refusing to identify how to pay for it.
The party leader also called Governor Paul LePage’s position that the state not cut certain services, raise taxes or raid the state’s rainy day fund “eminently reasonable” and called on Democrats to put forward a plan to pay for the expansion of Medicaid, which is estimated to cost more than $50 million in state funds per year, on top of over half a billion in federal funds.
Last week, House Democrat leadership suggested a lawsuit was imminent if the Governor tried to block Medicaid expansion, but Democrats still have not put forward their plan to finance the expansion, despite repeated calls from the Governor and Republicans for them to do so.
Dr. Kouzounas also expressed concern that elderly Maine people and disabled Mainers on waiting lists should not face cuts in order to provide benefits to able-bodied adults, saying it would be “reckless” for lawmakers to do so.
Some Democrats have floated the idea of tax increases or using funds from the state’s rainy day fund as a path to funding Medicaid expansion, both non-starters for Governor Lepage.
Photo courtesy Paul LePage, Maine’s Governor Facebook page.