Veto likely for bill to pay hospitals

AUGUSTA —  Even though Gov. Paul LePage's office made it clear Wednesday he'll veto a bill to pay off a $484 million debt to Maine hospitals because of an amendment to expand Medicaid, Democrats professed hope the Republican governor will relent and considered passage a victory.

Campaign Trackers
Joel Page

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2012 file photo, Gov. Paul LePage speaks at the swearing in ceremony for new representatives at the State House in Augusta, Maine. As LePage addressed the newly elected Legislature in early December, his frustration with trackers, the video camera-toting operatives who follow politicians around, boiled over into a brief diatribe that set the session off to a sour start. (AP Photo/Joel Page, File)

The House gave the bill final approval by an 87-56 vote on Wednesday, setting it up for a likely Senate enactment vote on Thursday before the bill can be sent to LePage.

But the governor's spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett, said she anticipates a veto if the bill reaches LePage's desk in its current form.

As approved by the Democratic-majority Legislature, the bill has three components: paying off Maine's $484 million debt to the state's hospitals, renegotiating the state's liquor-sales contract to bring in money to pay the $186 million state share of the debt, and expanding Medicaid to roughly 70,000 more Maine residents.

LePage and the Republicans strongly object to the third part, saying Medicaid expansion wasn't analyzed sufficiently and should be considered separately. A veto of the bill, however, endangers the hospital-payment portions of the bill, which are top priorities of the governor's.

"If (Medicaid and the hospital debt) are tied together, he'll veto it," Bennett said. "It makes absolutely no strategic sense for the Democrats to do this."

Democrats refused to be flustered by the veto talk and expressed hope the governor would reconsider.

"I think the question that needs to be asked is why isn't the governor going to sign this bill," said House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Haven. "And if the governor follows through on his veto threat, why is the governor not following through on his major legislative initiative of this session, and that is paying the hospitals."

Said Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland: "I think that every Republican and the governor, hopefully will take a step back, forget about all of the talking points, and think about the people of this state, who are going to be helped by accepting these federal funds. We're heard story after story about thousands of people in every district ... every one of us have people (whose) lives are on the line."

In a letter to the two leaders Monday, the governor expressed hope they would "consider the direction of Maine's welfare system," adding, "We should not be spending Mainers' hard-earned money to feed a generational dependency on government."

LePage attached a letter from a former Army paratrooper who was discharged with 90 percent disability because of an accident but still chooses to work despite eligibility for benefits. The 30-year-old veteran, Dustin Heath, told the governor he sees people violating government-benefit programs like food stamps and "I see people not working living better than I do."

"I'm not dissing people who need it," Heath told The Associated Press. But he said government aid should be reserved for people who are truly in need.

During debate on Medicaid expansion, Democrats sought to debunk assertions of routine cheating on government benefits, citing examples of working people whose Medicaid coverage lets them avoid having to seek medical care in hospital emergency rooms, where it is more expensive and adds to health care costs borne to a large degree by taxpayers.

As of Wednesday, neither Democratic leaders nor the administration was offering an alternative route should the hospital bill be vetoed.

But Sen. John Tuttle, a Sanford Democrat and co-chairman of the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, said one possibility would be separate hospital debt and Medicaid proposals in the still-unfinished state budget. Tuttle also said the issue, if left unsettled, could lead to a special legislative session.

For now, he said, "I like the process to work itself out."

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David Pinkham's picture

Robert has it right

That's all I was indicating. Don't marry the two issues. That's politics as usual. That means gridlock. Solve one problem at a time.

Frank you are fortunate. If you were making close to six figures, you are in the top ten percent of earners here, not in the same category as most Mainers. My twenty-something kids are working numerous part time jobs, without benefits. That is the wave of the immediate future. The numbers I submitted refer to when Social Security was implemented. To be fair, adjustments have been made since then.

The fundamental point remains. There are not enough workers to fund the number of retirees coming into that pipeline in the next ten to fifteen years, unless the workers pay more into the system, or the retirees take fewer benefits.

If you are retired now, you're good. If you're a twenty something, you simply lower your expectations. If you're between 40 and 50, you can hussle to earn and save more, and invest. If you're between 50 and 59, with only your home as an investment and maybe $75,000 in an IRA, you are screwed. You're looking at working til 69, then maybe $1500/mo SS and $700/mo from the IRA. Good luck living on that in retirement.

Some people believed Gore when he called it the LockBox. As though there is a big pot of money sitting somewhere earning interest, and that interest is funding SS. That is not the case. The only thing in the lockbox are IOUs, bonds backed by the US Government, we taxpayers. So it is paying OUT interest, not earning it.

Yet, SS is off the books, as though it is somehow in the black. It is not. If 20 people each owe me a $1000 I can't say I have $20,000, I don't. Banks can say they have that money, even though it is in mortgages or some other form of debt, but I can't say that. So in reality SS is an unfunded liability. That's my point, and I would think you can see that logic. If I'm wrong please illuminate.

Robert McQueeney's picture

Can they submit a bill for

Can they submit a bill for passage without adding in any kind of political agenda? How about a bill for simply paying our debt? Followed by a bill that would add 70,000 to medicaid? Let each portion stand on it's own merits. Why does on have to be linked to the other? Is one such a good idea while the other is such a bad idea? Let them each stand on their own merits.

Bob White's picture

The Democrats see a easy way

The Democrats see a easy way to get something passed.

Robert McQueeney's picture

Are the dems afraid this

Are the dems afraid this issue can not stand on it's own merits?


It can stand on its own

It can stand on its own merits....the problem is mr veto happy lepage....and we all know he doesn't want to do anything to help the WORKING poor

Robert McQueeney's picture

Then let it stand on it's own

Then let it stand on it's own merits and let the chips fall where they may. Public backlash should count for something should it fall.


Well since he just vetoed the

Well since he just vetoed the bill even his precious hospitals are not going to get paid. And we all know that if the medicaid expansion was on it's own mr veto happy lepage would veto it just because it is something democrats want and the WORKING poor need. By the way, why aren't we complaining because we pay the insurance for LePage, the representatives, and the senators. Why do they deserve state paid for insurance and those that work in lower paying jobs do not? They cannot even work together as one to accomplish the state's business. But I guess in the minds of some that is okay because of who they are. I say pay the hospitals, give the WORKING poor health care coverage or take away the insurance for those elected officials because they do NOT deserve it if the WORKING poor cannot have it. I also say TAKE THE VETO PEN OUT OF LEPAGE'S HAND UNTIL HE LEARNS TO NOT THROW TEMPER TANTRUMS!!!


The democrats are playing the

The democrats are playing the governor's very own game. He won't do something unless something else is done. Now the shoe is on the other foot. The governor holds bonds hostage unless he gets what he wants. Now he has to make a choice...veto the bill that pays his precious hospitals or sign the bill so his "friends" can get richer and those that need it finally get the healthcare coverage they need.

AL PELLETIER's picture

That would be just too simple, Robert.

If these two issues were put to voter referendum the majority of Mainers would vote to pay the hospitals, (that's a given). Next on the ballot would be approving expansion of medicaid with federal funds. Given the consensus I've read in this forum this would also pass.
My way or the highway Lepage wants these to be separate issues for obvious reasons, sign one and veto the other. The Dems. want to group both issues knowing the govs. veto of the bill will be very unpopular with Maine voters.
Back to the voter referendum. What would it matter? Lepage would block the outcome just as he did the voter approved bonds.
I'm afraid up until Nov. 2014 this is what we'll be dealing with and Maine will continue to suffer.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Another Bagger Gov takes the plunge

Iowa Medicaid Expansion Gets Boost As GOP Governor Drops Opposition: Report

Steve  Dosh's picture

† y v m Jer Still and all ,

† y v m Jer
Still and all , we are happy to be living here in Hawai'i right now
ref; Maine House approves bill to expand Medicaid, pay hospitals
Whadabout that tea partier in TX Rick Perry ? He might be stalling and fiddling around also
Is there a ' Rome ' in Maine ? The closest we can think of is a ' Naples .'
/s, Dr. Dosh and ohana

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

I'll bet

One pine box and raise you with LePages carcass that Perry does it, but he will be the last one since Texas has the largest economy but the largest and worst health care of all of them...

David Pinkham's picture


It's just math.

Someone offers to give you a $100,000 Porsche. Sure, you have a nice car for a year. Next year you have to pay the $10,000 Excise Tax.

It's only 10%. Still a good deal?

Politics as usual is gridlock. Like him or not, he's at least turning the focus to fiscal responsibility. Calling the governor stupid or mean doesn't change the facts, but hey, it's a free country and even morons are entitled to express their opinion.

The Ponzi Scheme we laughingly call "Social Security" is collapsing. We are no longer raising families where nine children will go to work right out of high school to eventually pay enough taxes to fund the account for the one widowed mother.

That ratio is down from 9:1 to 3:2, and some of those kids won't find steady jobs until well into their adulthood, eight, nine, ten years after high school, while still saddled with enormous educational debt. Meanwhile, both parents are living eight and nine years longer. Fewer taxpayers to finance an increased liability.

Simple Math.

Companies no longer have incentive to pay salary, benefits and pensions to keep talent. They fail, the Government will bail them out. They can't afford unfunded retirement liabilities, the Government will bail them out. They make crappy cars that can't compete in the market, the Government will bail them out. The banks that carry their credit made too many bad loans, the Government will bail them out. People buy more house than they can afford . . . oh wait, that was irresponsible. No soup for you!

It's pure folly to make a distinction between the federal government and the state government. It's even dumber to think the Government will keep it's bargain with you. When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can count on the support of Paul. Trouble is, we are both Peter and Paul.

It is immoral to put further financial burden on your kids. Wake up and pay your bills. Then, try to collect your "entitlements".


It is Simple Math...the

It is Simple Math...the federal government is trying to give us back our tax dollars we paid in. If we don't take it then other states will get OUR money. It IS that simple. Take OUR tax dollars back or give OUR tax dollars to some other state.

Bob White's picture

If they are trying to give

If they are trying to give OUR tax dollars back like you think I will take my tax dollars in a form of a check. Please don't speak for me where my money goes.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

The Ponzi Scam called Social Security.......

O.K. I'll bite, just what mathematical equation are you basing you demise of Social Security?
You make a lot of broad based assumptions, I would like to analyze a couple. Families aren't raising nine kids to enter the work force right out of high school. Exactly when did families have nine kids that were able to go into the workforce after high school? Not in this generation or even the last. As for companies no longer having incentives to pay well. I worked for many companies in two different career fields. I was able to earn a decent living and toward the end was making close to six figures, very close. I also was left with stock options and investments, which benefit me to this day. The last company was located right in Auburn Maine US of A. Last on the list is the auto industry. The last vehicle I actually sold was a Toyota, made in Indiana, it had well over three hundred grand on the odometer.
I'm not exactly sure what all this has to do with a Government trying to make life a little better for everyone. I can't figure out why the right seems to think negative attitudes are the way to succeed.
I have a hypothetical situation for anyone who thinks spending money when your broke, is a bad thing. About a year ago, I decided to buy a boat, just a small boat, nothing fancy. I had no money, and not being able to work, you might think I had a problem here. Actually the solution to my being broke at the time, was to spend some money. You see, as I mentioned before, I worked for a few companies over the years, some very successful companies. During my employment I took advantage of their investment options. That carried over to my present situation. I simply reinvested into the company, at the right time, I liquidated some of my stock, paid the taxes on my profit, and earned enough to buy my boat. So you see, even if you think your broke, your not without options. There are more ways to earn money, salary is just one way. If you believe the treasury is solely funded on the tax revenue, your grossly mistaken.
I have a challenge for every Republican out there. Try thinking positively for just a little while, I does wonders for your blood pressure, and if your predictions are really true, no one will have any health insurance to treat the blood pressure.....

 's picture

Never serious

Evidently, LePage was never serious about paying the hospitals. If he were really serious, he would sign this bill.

Zack Lenhert's picture

"LePage and other Republicans

"LePage and other Republicans say the bill was rammed through by the Democratic majority with an amendment to expand Medicaid services without sufficient review of that move."

Didn't Obamacare become law around 2010?...and they haven't sufficiently reviewed that move yet?

Steve  Dosh's picture

Zack ? A: They have not . i

Zack ? A: They have not . i used to teach E S L in Loystone [ sic. ] waay back in 1 9 7 5
We used to define ' illiteracy ' as those who can not balance a check bok
These days i think we'd simply define it as ' Republicans ' •  hth ?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

LePage doesn't care

He gets his health care off the backs of the Mainers. He is using political bullying to get his way, to sound off and not work with multiple solutions but only with just a solution, his!

Take a look around and you are seeing that more than 13/16ths of the states in the Nation are now accepting the Expansion. Many are those now red states taking more of federal dollars than paying in, just like Maine takes.

LePage wants to mirror those reds state thinkers in the way those red states are today regressing.

LePage is not a player, he is just a follower of those he thinks will carry his water.

GARY SAVARD's picture

The problem with the Medicaid

The problem with the Medicaid expansion is that in three years when the federal money dries up, Maine is saddled with another DHHS expense we can't pay for. That is what bothers me. Maybe Jonathan can clear that up for me.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Gar ? 1 ) You Hon Gov

Gar ? 1 ) You Hon Gov doesn't want or use US federal money , it seems , 2 ) " when the federal money dries up, ?"
A; We'll make more , Macroeconomics 1 0 1 hth ? /s Steve

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Could you please explain?????????

Gary, maybe I'm not reading this right, but explain to me, how you can take LePages delusional fear that the federal Government will not fulfill their financial commitment, all the way to the Federal money drying up? I may be going out on a limb here, but I'd be willing to bet, that in three years this country won't be broke. I am curious about something, do you believe this, because you actually believe it's true? Or are you just believing this, because you feel obligated to? Realistically it just couldn't happen, that's why I'm asking.
In just about every instance, Paul LePage has failed in his attempts to get the Federal Government to bend the rules just for him. Even now, he's trying to get the Fed's to pay 100% of the expansion for ten years instead of three. Out of all the other Governors in this country, he believes that he is entitled to special treatment. When it comes to fair and impartial decisions regarding unemployment claims, again, Paul LePage feels he is entitled to change the rules as he see's fit, legally or not.
He's going to piss and moan all the way to actually signing the expansion into law. He knows there is no way to avoid it, he just wants to delay progress as long as possible. Especially if it's progress that helps all the people of Maine, as apposed to just the filthy rich.
Is this really the guy you feel best represents the wishes of the people of Maine?

Bob White's picture

Frank how can you say that

Frank your right the country won't be broke in three years because its broke now. When you have a multiple trillion dollar dept and your adding to it every day then I would say your broke. Try running your home like that see how well it works.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

"I would say your broke"

Just what exactly is your definition of the word "broke"?, I got my SS check this month, that came from somewhere.......

Bob White's picture

I hope your joking Frank. Try

I hope your joking Frank. Try this at home for a couple of months spend more then what you are taking in. If you think we are not broke then you need not read the Sun Journal you should be reading the funny pages. When we start paying off the debt and we are taking in more then we are putting out then we wont be broke no longer.

Zack Lenhert's picture

Large economies have little

Large economies have little similarities with household budgets.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Ba Zinga Zack

They are stuck in the smaller realm of things.
Myself being an Ex Board member, dealing with New York SEGAL actuaries, money managers, 10 largest construction owners in MN and consultants of a $1.4 Billion Pension Funds and $1 Billion Health & Welfare Fund.

Trained and certified with my Masters on the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Trust Funds Management and they play nickel dime household financing.

Truly they make me laugh.....

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Bob, I'm willing to listen....

Just where are you getting the information that the Country is broke. It's just not the case, I suppose if you keep saying it, or hearing it enough times you may start to believe it.
The Republican Sequester is an example. How can you reduce spending on "broke"? They are reducing something, I just assumed it was money, but that can't be the case, because we're broke. I would also bet all those staff members and Senators and maybe even the president, is getting a pay check. Like I've said, I got my check, and the last time I checked, there's enough to keep me in the black for the rest of my life.
Where is the incoming money coming from? It's not just magically appearing in Federal Piggy Banks. Oh, there can't be any incoming money, we're broke, I keep forgetting that. Please explain how this can be????????????

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Simple thinking for bob

SInce we have a deficit, which it has been as long as we have all been alive, they are broke in his mind, since somebody told him personally. The revenues the Govt receives has no value in his mathematical calculations.

But I can bet in his way of thinking that since he may owe money on a mortgage, car or boat plus interest that he is broke too. Even though he as revenues coming in, with bills to pay, he is broke.

That certainly would make millions of homeowners and businesses broke in his way of thinking.

Then again if he owes nothing, then he feels that the government should follow his way of thinking and operate like he thinks it should be, but then again his perception is his reality.

Bob White's picture

Jerry how do you run your

Jerry how do you run your house hold do you run it on a balanced budget or do you spend more then what you bring in? Is your debt growing buy the day or is your debt(if or when you had any) going down? Its simple math you can only go backwards for so long. Then the fun stops.

GARY SAVARD's picture

Fact: It doesn't matter if

Fact: It doesn't matter if your cash flow is $100 per week or $1,000,000 per week. If it takes more than 100% of that to service your debt, you are broke.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Explain that reasoning

to a creditor as you apply for a loan.

GARY SAVARD's picture

Very simple. If you are

Very simple. If you are deemed unable to repay the loan with interest, you are denied. In short, if you can't service the debt on your existing obligations, more debt won't solve your problem. At best, it will delay the inevitable for a while.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Tell that

To Donald Trump and many of the big players that had tons of debt and rolled the dice and made changes to reverse that issue.

Bob White's picture

Thank you Gary well said I'm

Thank you Gary well said I'm sure Jerry or Frank still wont get it. One thing you didn't mention is that our government has the capability to print more paper. Doesn't mean we have more money all it does when you print more paper is lower the value of the dollar. I'm not real sure but I think that is why our dollar is not worth more then our friends to the north like it use to be.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I'm curious..............

Have you ever been the beneficiary of a trust? Do you know and understand how a trust works. Now I have another question, where does the money that pays my SS check come from every month? Is it the result of working folks paying into the system every paycheck? Have you ever heard of investments, interest, dividends, profit? Do you believe all the funds the Treasury has on hand is the result of taxes. Have you been to the Oxford Casino yet? Actually the Casino is just about the same odds as the market.
If you were to say earn $600.00 per week, do you think you could increase that amount say, 50%, without working another minute? Without even bothering your employer.
The Federal Government is earning money all the time, it's got nothing to do with tax revenue. It's not magic, it's smart investing, and the Government has it even better, they don't pay taxes. Social Security is like a huge "Trust Fund". It pays on it's own dividends. Some day I'm going to benefit from a trust fund, and it will all be totally legal. Anyone can set one up, on a much smaller scale of course. It's not much more than Money producing money (dividends). My personal favorite used to be stocks, but I've given that up for now. It's a win, win situation. When I would finally liquidate, I make money, I pay taxes on the profits, and everyone is happy. My only gripe is the percentage of tax I was paying was getting to high. The funny part is I know nothing about the stock market, but I still came out on top, even after I paid my accountant.......................

GARY SAVARD's picture

Frank, it came from a

Frank, it came from a dwindling account that, like the rest of the Fed government, will be in the hole in a very few years.

Steve  Dosh's picture

. Gar ? .ƒact : the very

. Gar ? .ƒact : the very last balanced US Federal budget was under a President by the name of Bill Clinton ( D )
lol - ßillery for President . . † y v m Francis ;) hth ? /s, Steve


Three years from now

Jonathan can do a better job of clearing it up I'm sure but from my understanding the feds pay 100% for 3 years and 90% after that. If it turns out that we cannot afford the 10% in year four we still have options. We can still throw the folks off or we can cut other ways. There is no reason to deny these folks coverage for the first 3 years and there is no reason to deny the hospitals the money we owe.

Bob White's picture

Claire since your in such a

Claire since your in such a giving mood can you have them give me a new car? Heck I won't even complain of the brand of car. I guess I should have told you this before I do work a full time job so I'm guessing I'm not eligible for any assistance. Why help the people that help them self



You are equating a new car with life saving medical care?? And if you are fortunate enough to have a job and are not dying for lack of affording medical care then perhaps you should be counting your blessings. If you were disabled or had dementia or couldn't work because you needed a new hip and couldn't afford the medical care you might be singing a different song. And if you think those folks are not your problem then you can also be thankful that the rest of us would not take that attitude should you become disabled as the result of an accident.

Bob White's picture

Claire that's the thing with

Claire that's the thing with your type you play the OMG you don't want to pay for the kids or the old people. No NO NO I have never said that their aren't people deserving of this benefits. I am talking about the perfectly fine people that are more then capable of taking care of themselves. I don't need to explain the people that I am talking about I know your intelligent enough to know who shouldn't be on the system. If you don't or choose to stick your head and the sand then their is no need to waste my time.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Fear is the enemy of logic for those that afflicted by

The sky is with those that have no foresight for pulling their heads out of the sand to look around and move forward..

Such as the marble rolls better when you modify the path for a clear smooth track after hitting those same bumps on the way.
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.


GARY SAVARD's picture

Don't confuse fear with

Don't confuse fear with fiscal responsibility. It will bite you every time.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

I think you are confused.

What you had, doesn't work, that was fiscal then and now, what you have going forward will be fiscal... responsibility and insanity is to stop doing the same thing and getting the same result,. Fear is not moving into a new room to move forward to the next room, if you want to worry about money all the time then doing nothing should be done, period, because what you have now fails.

GARY SAVARD's picture

In year four the 10% we pay,

In year four the 10% we pay, assuming the federal government doesn't scale that back to more, will cost us how much? My understanding is Maine doesn't have enough money to pay bills we now have. "Throw people off" is not a likely scenario as long as Maine is run by the same people who want to extend benefits to anyone with a pulse that can cast a vote. I would feel better knowing where we will be after three years than jumping into this just so we can feel good in the short term.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

From those better versed?

The explanation to me was that in place and going forward the pay as you go is how this is being addressed today. I can safely say that if we all had a crystal ball to see into the what if and the future, we would not be having this conversation at all. Like anything in life nothing is certain and its been roll with the punches. If you don't try it you will never know and when you do then you adjust, adapt and improvise.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, First Inaugural Address, Mar. 4, 1933

Tony Capola's picture

Hospital bill

Well Clair it seems that you have made a lot of 'assumptions' but it's unclear from where you get your inspiration. If you’re that clairvoyant you should hang out your shingle and become a professional soothsayer.

And Jason, what's wrong with letting Medicare expansion stand on its own?

Isn’t everybody a little tired of playing politics with the people’s welfare [...perhaps a poor choice of words.].

A bill is a bill and making payment decisions based on politically motivated conditions is just wrong. What if any of us refused to pay our bills? “I’ll pay my monthly mortgage so long as the lender agrees to allow me to, without limit, borrow more money, FIRST.”

Isn’t that what the D’s and others are saying? If you will allow us to expand the program to include spending more money we don't have I’m not going to pay what I already owe. If we won’t pay now where’s the proof we will pay later?

Once again the government is above the law primarily because they make the law. “I’m from the government and I’m here to help [ as there is something in it for me].”

Isn’t that the real definition of “politics”? If there isn’t a “quid-pro-quo” we’re not going to agree, no matter how legitimate and DATED the relevant obligation may be.

I’m not a fan of LaPage and I’m the classic example of an ‘independent-voter’. I have no agenda, hidden or otherwise. All I want is our government to pay for services rendered under clearly established conditions.


But isn't what the

But isn't what the republicans doing the same thing....they won't vote for things unless it is their way and the governor will veto if it isn't the way he wants it.....his hospitals get paid, the liquor contract gets done, and people get insurance....

Jason Theriault's picture

What's more important?

Vetoing medicaid expansion or replaying the hospitals? Because LePage has numerous times said repaying the hospitals is his top priority, so unless stopping the expansion of Medicaid is his top priority, he shouldn't veto it.



"Nothing gets done until the next election" True to his word the governor is. So he doesn't want the expansion of MaineCare tied to the repayment of the hospitals. Well a lot of us didn't think the bonds should be tied to it either. For that matter tying the liquor money was something of a stretch also. As far as I can tell, other than his tea party loyalties the main objection here is that it might end up costing the state money 10 years from now and perhaps the federal government might renege on its promises. Well just because the governor has gone back on most of the state's promises doesn't mean the feds will too. And as for what it will cost years from now those figures are total speculation and could change drastically with the advent of Obamacare and with an uptick in the economy. If the hospitals buy this rationale for cancelling payment they are pretty dumb. Not only will their charity care increase, their payment will be delayed until after the election and most likely the result of the election will only be to implement the legislature's plan anyway since it seems to have the majority support of the people of Maine.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Psst Claire ? ^^ Someone

Psst Claire ? ^^ Someone above ^^ was asking for a new car from you . HAhahahahah ! How quickly we forget huh ? †yvm CEO Obama
" ME . Liƒe in the breakdown lane ." 4:20 hst ? Hump Day /s Steve

Bob White's picture

Psst Steve nobody gave me a

Psst Steve nobody gave me a new car I worked for what I have. Why shouldn't everybody else? ^^ *(5 # (*&@@!%+(&

 's picture

Couldn't agree more

Good politics though. By pinning Medicaid expansion (which LePage hates because it helps the people of Maine) to Hospital repayments (which LePage loves because it provides some of Maine's biggest companies with lots of taxpayer's dollars) Democrats have given LePage a choice - help Maine and the Hospitals or hurt Mainers and his wealthy friends. Democrats can run on that alone in 2014 if he vetoes the bill. I won't be surprised if he does veto the Bill. He hates Mainers that much.

Tony Capola's picture

Where's the logic here?

How does paying our bills help line the pockets of others. How do you explain this position to the people that have had their work-day reduced or been laid off completely? What about the people that are turned away now, and not because the plan isn't large enough.

Did Baldacci and his pals think that the state could simply forget what is owed to the healthcare providers? "We'll ignore the hospital bills and they will eventually disappear." Playing politics with such serious matters helps no one.

Where will the very people the democrats claim to champion go when they need care? Look at the number of healthcare facilities that now refuse to take MaineCare patients. If the underwriters refuse to pay the bill why should the medical providers continue to deliver the needed care?

Please don't be driven by the 'spin' that either party puts on this matter. They're BOTH wrong but when has that been unusual?

 's picture

I support paying the Hospital

I was writing of LePage's motivation.
The delivery of Health Care in this country is totally screwed up. We pay twice as much as almost anywhere in the world for care and receive some of the worst or nearly worst results. And that's not because of the people in health care who I know to be heros on many levels. Its the system. Mr. Lepage wants to continue a system that costs too much and delivers too little. Obamacare, a very poor insurance reform, may improve the situation, but its not a fix. The patient is dying, we need radical surgery on US health care and it starts with universal health care.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Money has a different language.

Look at the number of healthcare facilities that now refuse to take MaineCare patients. If the underwriters refuse to pay the bill why should the medical providers continue to deliver the needed care?\

If they get paid going forward those providers will have open talks and BS walks.....

Steve  Dosh's picture

. .Jer ? Slight point of

. .Jer ? Slight point of order. .there is a legal precedence and obligation for all US hospitals to admit the destitute.. and treat them .if they can and are able to so . .if they are not in a war zone . .not the VA. .and they can fit them in ( thinks : Moore, OK ;)
It's pretty much part of the whole ' hypothetical ' oath [ sic. ] to " Not harm ."
hth ? /s Dr. Dosh


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