Advocates rally looking to defeat Mainecare expansion veto

6:06 PM, Mar 20, 2014   |    comments
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BREWER, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Supporters for expanding Medicaid here in Maine are continuing to push for their cause. This comes as Governor LePage is likely to veto new legislation that would do that in the coming weeks.

The bill to expand Mainecare cleared both sides of the legislature last week. Still there were not enough votes for it to override a veto from the governor. Advocates say they want to clear that margin by the time the bill is taken up again.

On Thursday members of the Maine People's Alliance rallied for the bills passage in Brewer asking those few lawmakers who didn't vote 'yes' to reconsider. The expansion bill only needed 2 more votes in the Maine senate to get the necessary majority.

Opponents say expanding Mainecare would leave a major mark on the state budget as the cost of the program is already high. Yet advocates say its change that's desperately needed.

"There's a lot of talk that it's {those in need} the unemployed..the able-bodied as the say..but these are people that are working two, three jobs trying to get by but they don't have healthcare with them," said Shawn Yardley, who is program director for Penobscot Community Healthcare, "and to expect that people can pay out of pocket is just not realistic."

Members of the Maine People's Alliance say they intend to keep spreading their message before the next vote. They say Republican opposition could prove costly to that party in November. The next vote is scheduled to happen sometime in the coming weeks.


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