Democrats reiterate opposition to Medicaid cuts for Maine seniors, families
August 1, 2012
Augusta – Top Democratic state lawmakers said they opposed the LePage administration’s cuts to Medicaid for thousands of Maine seniors, families and people with disabilities. The administration announced today the details of its “State Plan Amendment” request to the federal government to allow reductions in the Maine Medicaid program, which were forced through in June by Republican lawmakers in a majority budget.
“Democrats have opposed these cuts to health care for our seniors and families from day one,” said Rep. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, the lead House member on the State’s Appropriations Committee. “The LePage administration is asking Maine seniors to sacrifice their medicine and health care so he can give more than half a billion dollars in tax cuts primarily to the rich.”
The cuts would impact approximately 26,500 Maine people, including families, seniors and people with disabilities. These cuts involve elimination of eligibility for 14,500 parents with incomes between 100-133 percent of the federal poverty level and 7,000 19 and 20 year olds, as well as the elimination or reduction of coverage for over 5,000 seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in the Medicare Savings Program.
"Instead of helping Maine seniors and families get the health care they need, the LePage administration continues to deny reality," said Senator Dawn Hill, D-York. "LePage has manufactured a budget crisis and the truth is that we have other options for how to balance the budget besides taking away health care."
Democrats also pointed out the state budget requires the LePage administration to secure a waiver from the federal government to make the cuts.
According to the Republican budget that was forced through in June, LD 1746, Sec. Z-2 states that Medicare cuts are only effective when "the commissioner of HHS receives written approval of the application for a waiver of the MOE requirement...from CMS or the commissioner receives written notification from CMS that such a waiver is not necessary..." OR "that written approval of the application for a waiver or written notification that such a waiver is not necessary has been received."
Jodi Quintero [Rep. Rotundo], 287-1488, c. 841-6279
Ericka Dodge [Sen. Hill] 287. 1515, c. 232.5892