Commissioner Mayhew: Budget Proposal to be Unveiled

December 6, 2011

As you are receiving this, Governor LePage and I are meeting with the media to unveil the Department’s supplemental budget plan to close a $120 million shortfall between now and the end of this fiscal year and a $100 million shortfall for SFY ’13 which begins on July 1, 2012. The budget proposal includes structural changes that reduce expenditures and move Maine’s Medicaid program and DHHS closer to sound financial footing.

These decisions are difficult and amount to a dramatic restructuring of the Medicaid program. Over the last 10 years, total Medicaid spending has increased in Maine by more than $1 billion and total enrollment has grown by 78 percent. Our Medicaid program pays for 35 percent more of the population than the national average and we spend significantly more per person on our enrollees than the national average.

We can no longer be all things to all people and we must make significant progress toward moving our state to a program that is sustainable and redefines Maine’s Medicaid as a true safety net program. We cannot expect any increased federal Medicaid support to resolve this problem.

This proposal includes administrative efficiencies, eligibility restructuring, benefit re-design and payment reform. Full details of the supplemental budget proposal can be found online.

This page will be updated as more information becomes available. As you all know, this is the beginning of the process. Public hearings, work sessions and Legislative debate will certainly follow. I look forward to working together with all concerned parties as we craft a sensible and sustainable solution for all Mainers.