Maine Medicaid cuts on N. Maine agenda

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (AP) — Gov. Paul LePage encountered stiff criticism to his proposed Medicaid cuts in northern Maine, leading to a sharp exchange during the first of three stops.

Judy Paradis, a former state legislator from northern Aroostook County, criticized LePage during the meeting, saying, "You come off as a bully," according to a citizen's videotape of the session.

LePage, seeking to emphasize the state's financial predicament, asked, "What planet are you on?"

The exchange happened Tuesday in Fort Kent during a public workshop used to explain LePage's budget proposal calling for major cuts in Medicaid. On Wednesday, a second forum was moved to Northern Maine Community College to accommodate a larger crowd than initially anticipated, about 250 people, some of whom had to stand.

LePage said Tuesday that Medicaid cuts are needed to avoid having the program run out of money by April 1. Cuts in benefits and eligibility are needed to close a $221 million state budget gap through mid-2013, the governor said. Many of those attending the sessions were concerned about cutting funds for private non-medical institutions, or PNMIs.

Democratic state Rep. John Martin of Eagle Lake expressed a willingness to find another way to keep the PNMIs funded. Martin serves on the Appropriations Committee, which deals with budget matters.

Thursday's final meeting will be at the Houlton Higher Education Center. The workshops are organized by the Aroostook Area Agency on Aging. LePage only attended the first meeting in Fort Kent.

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Information from: WAGM-TV, http://www.wagmtv.com

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Comments

Randall Pond's picture

Govenor's Remarks

[This comment has been removed by the administrator]

Ed Enos's picture

Please

You're a big bully! Don't worry about the $221,000,000.00 deficit. (that's a pretty big number where I live.)

Bob Stone's picture

Martin and Paradis

In office while MaineCare grew from 200,000 to 360,000 and now they are blaming LePage for a system that will be out of cash on April 1st?

Upside down world.

RONALD RIML's picture

Dan

He doesn't 'Represent' them. He 'Governs' He is Der Fuehrer - one doesn't question Der Fuehrer ....

Bob Stone's picture

Are You Inferring that LePage is Hitler?

Your hatred runs deep.

RONALD RIML's picture

Big Man, Little Man

Both were Arrogant Bustards......

Bob Stone's picture

Ney, ney, Kimosabe

I started off after college with $45 bucks to my name. I guess I was poor but didn't know it. Went to Boston, lived off a couch, and found work on Day 1, and here I am, four decades later, and still working. I despise lazy people. Lazy? Not your friend. Disabled and poor? I'll be the first to help you.

Bob Stone's picture

How do You Know...

...what I think? I have lived with people who have little money all of my life. I have a family member (who I adore) who needs care 24 hours a day.

Don't believe everything you read in the Sun-Journal. They have a political agenda and have no idea as to what the Governor is up to.

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