Maine Vote to Close the Coverage Gap Shows Public Support For Access to Affordable Health Care Under the ACA
Statement of Robert Restuccia, Executive Director of Community Catalyst, on last night’s successful election result for Maine’s Medicaid expansion ballot initiative. After seven long years, including five vetoes by Governor Paul LePage, the people of Maine overwhelmingly approved a ballot question that will require Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services to extend Medicaid coverage to all qualifying adults earning less than $16,643 per year.
(BOSTON, MA) – “Last night’s ballot initiative results are a victory for the people of Maine and for access to affordable health care. The passage of this initiative is a direct rebuke of Gov. LePage’s spiteful and cynical denial of health care coverage to 70,000 of his own constituents.
“We congratulate our partners, Mainers For Health Care, who led a multi-year campaign to elevate the voices of Mainers caught in the coverage gap and helped lay the groundwork for the success of this issue at the ballot box. They built bipartisan support for closing the coverage gap and created a powerful grassroots movement that has gone door to door for months, educating Maine voters about the importance of increasing access to health coverage.
“In a year when attacks on health and health care came from every corner, voters in Maine sent a clear message – access to health care coverage for low-income people should be expanded, not threatened or cut. We hope that elected officials in Congress and other states will take heed of this message and work in a bipartisan fashion to make health care better for all Americans. We need policies that increase access to coverage, lower out-of-pocket costs, address inequities, tackle prescription drug prices and improve the quality of care.
“Maine will now join the 31 states plus the District of Columbia that are reaping the rewards of accepting federal funds to increase access to health care coverage for their residents. Closing the coverage gap will strengthen Maine’s workforce, its economy and its health care infrastructure.”
About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Read our blog at http://blog.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.