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For Immediate Release

Date: 11/15/13

ObamaCare Disaster Another Reason Not to Expand Medicaid

GOP warns against expanding welfare amid DC lies, delays, apologies

AUGUSTA - House Republicans on Friday pointed to the latest in a continual line of bad news as just another reason to avoid the costly disaster that would be Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare.

President Obama, facing a wave of criticism amid the ongoing failure of the federal takeover of health care, yesterday apologized repeatedly for the failed law while offering a legally-questionable Band-Aid fix that will actually make the health law's problems worse.

The President and Congressional Democrats had promised repeatedly that if Americans like their health insurance plans, they can keep them under ObamaCare. Now, Anthem has sent 8,500 cancellation notices to individual plan policyholders in Maine, and MegaLife has sent 3,500 plan modification notices.

"The President and Congress broke their promise to the American people about being able to keep their health insurance, and it makes me wonder, will they brake their promise to state governments to pay for most of welfare expansion if we choose to participate?" said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Welfare expansion is a bad deal even as proposed, and considering Washington's inability to keep its promises and manage its finances, it could be even worse."

ObamaCare also may prove disastrous for small groups plans in Maine.

"Of our small group clients, none will be able to keep their plan once they renew in 2014," said Joel Allumbaugh, CEO of National Worksite Benefit Group, a Maine-based employee benefits insurance agency. "Ninety percent of these groups will see higher premiums for less coverage in 2014."

Last year, President Obama proposed a budget that would have slashed Medicaid funding by reducing payments to states while limiting the ability of states to pay their share of the Medicaid tab.

"Expansion is a horrible deal for Maine taxpayers even if D.C. keeps its promises from now on, and that's a big 'if,'" said Assistant House Republican Leader Alex Willette. "Welfare expansion would already require Maine to either increase taxes or cut education funding by $150 million per budget, and with the latest news from D.C., it appears $150 million would be our best case scenario. Expanding Medicaid would be an unmitigated disaster."

Even as they killed welfare reform, Democrats pushed welfare expansion through the Maine Legislative Council on October 30, ensuring that the bill will be taken up by the Legislature in January.

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