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Rep. Deborah Sanderson In the News

HHS Dems Vote Against Welfare Reforms

March 27, 2014

AUGUSTA - Democrats on the Maine Legislature's Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee on Wednesday afternoon voted against one welfare reform bill and crippled another, leaving two more welfare reform bills to be taken up by the committee late in the afternoon.

The committee voted on party lines against LD 1815, which would simply require that job-ready welfare applicants apply for three jobs before receiving benefits. Nineteen other states have enacted the work-search-before-welfare re...

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In Partisan Vote, Dems Move Medicaid Expansion Through Committee

March 6, 2014

AUGUSTA - Majority Democrats on the Maine Legislature's Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee late Thursday afternoon voted in favor of LD 1578, the bill to expand Medicaid to able-bodied adults under ObamaCare. All five of the committee's Republican lawmakers voted against the controversial measure.

The vote comes as a general consensus forms around the eventual defeat of the expansion bill after a certain veto from Governor Paul LePage. Most observers agree that Democrats lack the...

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Bill to Improve Medicaid Funding to Nursing Homes Approved by Committee

March 5, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday afternoon gave a unanimous "Ought to Pass" report to LD 1776, a bill that would improve Medicaid reimbursement to nursing homes.

The Legislature established the Long-Term Care Facilities Study Commission last year in order to identify ways to help Maine's nursing homes, which a Commission member later commented were "on the brink" due to chronic underfunding. According to the Commission, Medicaid underfunded...

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Sparks Fly: HHS Committee Votes Out Expansion Bill

March 3, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee on Monday voted on party lines to approve a measure that would expand medical welfare to over 70,000 able-bodied adults while promising to implement managed care in the Medicaid system. Republicans opposed the proposal while Democrats supported it.

Rep. Carol McElwee (R-Caribou), an initial supporter of the expansion measure and member of the committee, voted against the bill, citing opposition both to managed care and ...

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GOP Leaders: Medicaid Expansion Alternative Already In Place

March 3, 2014

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican Leaders on Monday called attention to the built-in, default alternative to ObamaCare's welfare expansion. The health insurance exchange established by the federal government provides coverage that costs next to nothing to most of those who would be eligible for Medicaid if the state expanded.

"Virtually everything the Democrats say Medicaid expansion will do for the state will be done anyway by the exchange if we don't expand," said House Republican Leade...

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Taxpayers Come Out in Force Against Medicaid Expansion

January 15, 2014

AUGUSTA - The Maine Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday held a public hearing on LD 1578, the bill to force the state to help fund an expansion of medical welfare to at least 70,000 able-bodied adults under ObamaCare.

The committee heard testimony in cyclesfive proponents followed by five opponents, repeated. As of 1:00 PM, after beginning at 9:00 AM, members of the public opposing welfare expansion were still matching testimony with those in favor of it, inc...

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Dems Un-Invite Alexander to Give HHS Committee Briefing

January 11, 2014

AUGUSTA - In a shocking move by the Democratic chairpersons of the Maine Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee Saturday afternoon, welfare consultant Gary Alexander's invitation to brief the committee on Tuesday on his Medicaid expansion study has been rescinded. Alexander's firm has been contracted by the state's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to conduct a review of the state's welfare programs.

The first part of the review, released Friday, was an estima...

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HHS Committee Republicans to Dems: Where Are Your Ideas?

December 10, 2013

AUGUSTA - Republican members of the legislature's Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday called on Democrats to offer their own alternatives to hiring an outside firm to identify savings in Maine's welfare system. The committee met Tuesday to discuss the Department of Health and Human Services' contract with an outside firm, among other items.

"Time will tell the effectiveness of the welfare auditing firm, but if Democrats are going to criticize it, I want to hear what their alterna...

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Survey: Capital-Area Residents Want Less Spending, More Welfare Reform

December 4, 2013

AUGUSTA - State Representative Deborah Sanderson (R-Chelsea) on Monday released the results of her constituent survey, which was mailed to every household in House District 52. Rep. Sanderson's district includes the towns of Chelsea, Somerville, Washington, Whitefield, part of Jefferson, and the unorganized territory of Hibberts Gore. The 11-question survey garnered 147 responsesan average sized sample for a House district.

"This survey allows me to listen to my neighbors and get a sens...

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Governor Signs Lyme Disease Awareness Bill

June 25, 2013

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage on Tuesday signed LD 597, a bill to combat Lyme disease by providing for better patient information resources. House Republican members Rep. Deborah Sanderson of Chelsea, Rep. Heather Sirocki of Scarborough, and Rep. David Johnson of Eddington worked closely with the bill's sponsor, Rep. Sheryl Briggs of Mexico to ensure its passage.

Rep. Johnson, who suffers from Lyme disease, was one of five House Republican cosponsors of the bill. "I'm glad to see this ...

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GOP Rep. Proposes Amendments to Remove Neediest Mainers from DHHS Waitlists

June 11, 2013

AUGUSTA - In anticipation of another vote on LD 1066, the Medicaid expansion measure, Rep. Deborah Sanderson (R-Chelsea), has introduced two floor amendments to require that funding be provided to take 3,100 elderly and disabled Mainers off of MaineCare waitlists and give them the care for which they are eligible.

"I would like to know when our elderly and disabled will stop getting shoved to the back of the line so that young, able-bodied people can get free health insurance," said Sander...

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Military Recruiter Bills Spark Fiery Debate in Maine House

June 4, 2013

AUGUSTA - The House on Tuesday took up two bills concerning military recruiters in public schools. The first, LD 1502, requires that public high schools allow recruiters to administer the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test to students who elect to take it. Under the bill, recruiters, not school staff, would take the time to administer the test, which would remain voluntary for the students.

That bill was rejected mostly along party lines, 74-68. Majority Democrats ...

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Democrats Circle Wagons Around Welfare State

May 10, 2013

AUGUSTA - Democrats on the Legislature's Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee Thursday killed a bill that would allow the state to request a waiver from the federal government in order to exclude "junk food" from eligible food stamp purchases. Junk food includes soda, candy, and other foods with little nutritional value. The bill, LD 1411, is titled "Resolve, To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Request a Waiver To Prohibit the Use of Food Supplement Benefits for the ...

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Republicans Vote to Stop Government Waste, Duplication

April 24, 2013

AUGUSTA - In a party line vote, the House passed LD 230, "An Act To Establish the Commission on Health Care Cost and Quality." The bill would establish a partisan commission to develop a health improvement plan for Maine, with members to be appointed solely by the Senate President, Speaker of the House, and two legislative committees.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) testified in opposition to the bill because the measure is wasteful in its duplication of existing...

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Demonstrators Rally Outside State House in Support of Gun Rights

February 8, 2013

AUGUSTA - About 100 concerned citizens came to the State House for an outside demonstration in support of the 2nd Amendment and the gun rights guaranteed by Maine's Constitution today. They braved the 5 degree weather and horizontal snow for roughly two hours as a series of speakers addressed the crowd.

Conservative columnist and former congressional candidate Prof. John Frary spoke, along with former congressional candidate Blaine Richardson. Rep. Deborah Sanderson (R-Chelsea) spoke to...

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Rep. Sanderson compiles excellent voting record

June 27, 2012

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Deborah Sanderson, a first-term legislator from Chelsea, compiled an excellent voting record during the 125th Legislature. She was present for 98.1 percent of the roll call votes taken, one of the best records in the Maine House.

"Voting on issues that affect the people of my district is the most important part of my job as a legislator," said Rep. Sanderson, who pulls double duty by serving on two committees, Health and Human Services and Criminal Justice and Public S...

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House passes budget bill on 75-61 vote

May 21, 2012

AUGUSTA - The Maine House tonight passed a supplemental budget to fill a $78.5 million gap in the state's 2013 fiscal year. The bipartisan vote was 75-61. The Senate passed the measure earlier today, 19-16.

The bill, LD 1746, which had been under consideration for weeks by the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, deals primarily with a shortfall at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Many of the provisions are structural in nature, meaning the savings will ...

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Rep. Sanderson reports results of constituent survey

May 11, 2012

AUGUSTA - Constituents of Rep. Deborah Sanderson, by a 70 percent to 30 percent margin, say lawmakers should focus more on cutting taxes than on preserving public benefits. By the same margin, they favor realigning MaineCare benefits with national averages through the elimination of optional services.

Those are a couple of results from a survey of residents of District 52, which includes Chelsea, part of Jefferson, Somerville, Washington and Whitefield, plus the unorganized territory of Hib...

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Rep. Sanderson Publishes Column on Health Care Reform

January 12, 2012

To the Press Herald

Legislature approaching health insurance costs from many angles

By Rep. Deborah Sanderson

It's no secret that health insurance in Maine is costly. Maine people pay some of the highest rates in the country and have for quite a while.

There are a number of reasons for this. First, medical services in Maine are very expensive. Second, we have a large medical welfare population that pays little to nothing into the system. Finally, Maine's restrictive health i...

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Rep. Wallace sworn in as Legislature's newest member

November 30, 2011

House Republican Office

November 21, 2011

For more information:

Jay Finegan, 287-1445

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ray Wallace sworn in as Legislature's newest member

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Ray Wallace was sworn into office today by Governor Paul LePage after winning a special election to fill a vacant seat in House District 24.

Rep. Wallace (R-Dexter) said he was motivated to run for office by the reform agenda championed by the Republican majorities in the House and Senate...

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Health insurance reform clears initial hurdle in Maine House

May 5, 2011

AUGUSTA - Landmark legislation to revamp Maine's health insurance market cleared a critical hurdle today in the House of Representatives by a vote of 76-72. The measure, designed to generate more competition and bring rates closer to national norms, now moves to the Senate. Final enactment votes in both bodies could come as early as next week.

"The people of our state are the winners today," said House Speaker Robert Nutting. "For years, reasonable proposals to fix a dysfunctional health insur...

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Rep. Deb Sanderson Appointed to Substance Abuse Services Commission

March 9, 2011

AUGUSTA - State Rep. Deb Sanderson has been named to the Substance Abuse Services Commission, which plays numerous roles in Maine's fight against drug and alcohol abuse.

Rep. Sanderson (R-Chelsea) said she is honored by the appointment and looks forward to getting started. "Drug and alcohol abuse represents a hidden tax on the state," she said. "In 2005, it was estimated that substance abuse costs Maine about $900 million per year. That same year, the Office of Substance Abuse reported tha...

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Rep. Deb Sanderson Draws Dual Committee Assignments

January 27, 2011

AUGUSTA -- State Rep. Deb Sanderson has been assigned an unusually heavy workload for a first-term legislator. She will serve on two high-profile policy panels - the Committee on Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

"Serving on two committees will make for a very busy session," said Rep. Sanderson (R-Chelsea). "I'm honored to be on both of them. Criminal Justice is a fascinating field, and I'm hoping my work in long-term care and medical bil...

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