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House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport
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For Immediate Release

Date: 05/23/13

GOP to Dems: Accept Compromise, Pay Hospitals Without Conditions

Medicaid commission would study expansion options, realities in detached, objective manner

AUGUSTA - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport today introduced a bill to his fellow members of leadership of both parties that would establish a study group on Medicaid expansion. He presented the measure, which requires approval of a majority of the 10 members of leadership, to the Legislative Council during their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday at 2:00 p.m. The bipartisan council gave it unanimous approval for reference to committee.

The study group would be comprised of three members appointed by the Senate President, three appointed by the Speaker of the House, two each appointed by the Senate and House Republican Leaders, one member appointed by the Governor, the Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner, and a representative of Maine's health care industry to be appointed by the Senate President, for a total of 13 members.

"Democrats failed to persuade enough lawmakers that their Medicaid expansion proposal is a good idea on its own," said Fredette. "But now, lawmakers have an opportunity to design a program that best fits Maine. One size does not fit all and with this study group, we can explore all of our options while also looking at our long-term ability to fund education, maintain our roads, support our first responders, and fulfill all of state government's important obligations without the continued crowding-out effect of an ever expanding DHHS budget."

"The welfare expansion that Democrats have proposed is a horrible deal for Maine," added Assistant House Republican Leader Alexander Willette of Mapleton. "The welfare expansion would cost Maine taxpayers billions and would do nothing to reduce the cost of health care in Maine. If there are better ways to proceed, the study group will find them. In the meantime, Democrats must stop the coercive, Washington-style politics and join us in passing the bipartisan hospital repayment bill we've agreed on all along."

"Maine shouldn't pay sticker price for the car by impulsively accepting the federal government's first offer," added Fredette. "We must determine what's in the best interest of Maine people over the long term."

David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793