Coalition Delivers 3,000 Petitions Urging Lawmakers To Expand Medicaid 

A coalition supporting the expansion of federally funded Medicaid services to nearly 70,000 Mainers had their voices heard in Augusta Monday.The group, “Cover Maine Now” delivered more than 3,000 petitions to lawmakers calling on them to pass a bill to accept federal dollars and expand medicaid in Maine.”The health needs of these individuals will not disappear with their coverage,” said Sara Gagne-Holmes of the Maine Equal Justice Partners. “Instead, because they can’t afford the cost if care they will forego it while their healthcare needs become acute. Only when they can no longer stand the pain or provide for their families will they seek treatment.”Republicans have proposed an amendment to the bill, calling for the creation of a bipartisan task force to look into the long term costs of expanding the Medicaid program in Maine.”What we want to do is do some in-depth research. Talk to the experts, involve the executive, involve the Republicans and let’s do this together,” said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette.Monday afternoon, a bill that would repay $484 million to Maine’s hospitals and expand Medicaid passed the senate along party lines.The house will debate the bill Tuesday morning.