The Sun Journal story “More money, less money: The effects of not expanding MaineCare,” (July 20) rightly detailed the negative impact of the state’s decision to turn down federal Medicaid dollars for life-saving health care.

It is unfortunate that Gov. Paul LePage and his allies in the state Legislature turned their backs on health care for 70,000 Maine people — and on a $1 million per day investment in our economy. Those dollars could have saved lives and created thousands of jobs.

As a family doctor and a member of the state’s budget-writing committee, I have seen firsthand how access to life-saving health care can change people’s lives, while also saving the state money. In fact, we know from the non-partisan national Kaiser Foundation that the health care dollars would have saved the state more than $600 million over the next 10 years.

Instead Gov. LePage and Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew sought to politicize the funds and turn them down in a political effort to buck the Affordable Care Act. They even went as far as to spend $1 million on the Alexander Group consultant whose faulty and plagiarized studies of the Medicaid system have made headlines across the state and nation.

I was aghast to see Commissioner Mayhew continue to cite statistics from the discredited Alexander Group study in the news story, and even more surprised to see the newspaper fail to note where her numbers came from.

It’s bad enough the state turned down life-saving health care, but justifying the decision by citing the controversial and failed Alexander Group analysis is unbelievable.

Likewise, the former Maine Hospital Association lobbyist, saying that she is “perplexed” by the hospitals’ backing of MaineCare expansion, is dubious. She knows well the harm to Maine’s hospitals from the increased costs of charity care.

State Rep. Linda Sanborn, Gorham


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