Where does Gov. Paul LePage get bad ideas such as rejecting federal Medicaid money?

Some ideas come from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a secretive group of legislators and business representatives funded mostly from sources such as the Koch brothers, Walmart, Exxon Mobil, drug companies and the NRA.

Members of ALEC want so-called “regulatory reform.” Their “reform” would gut existing regulations and allow companies to pollute the air and water, privatize schools and jails, cut pensions and cut taxes for corporations and the rich.

ALEC members actually write “model” laws that are then passed in state legislatures. In 2011, the corporate chair for ALEC was Gov. LePage’s close adviser, Ann Robinson, and some Maine Republican legislators are ALEC members.

Gov. LePage has wasted almost $1 million in tax money hiring Gary Alexander to study Maine’s possible Medicaid expansion, knowing that his report would reflect LePage’s negative beliefs.

Maine should accept the $250 million Medicaid expansion because that new money coming into Maine would help the economy enormously, as well as helping the uninsured. Arizona Gov. Janice Brewer and several other Republican governors have accepted this money to help their states.

According to the Maine Center for Economic Policy, “Expanding Medicaid in Maine would stimulate $350 million in economic activity, create more than 3,500 jobs and generate as much as $18 million in state and local taxes annually.”

ALEC should be expelled from state government and Maine should accept $250 million of federal Medicaid expansion money.

Ellen Field, New Gloucester

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