AUGUSTA (AP) — A group of Republicans wants Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to strike the word “insurance” from a November ballot question asking voters to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Former Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett said the question should refer to “taxpayer-funded health benefits” or as “government-funded health benefits.”

He was joined Tuesday by several other prominent Republicans.

Supporters say the referendum question doesn’t need to be changed. The question now reads: “Do you want Maine to provide health insurance through Medicaid for qualified adults?”

The Medicaid program provides medical care to low-income residents and people with disabilities. Expanding the program would cost about $54 million a year; supporters point out that it would draw down $525 million each year in federal matching funds.

Chamber Breakfast
Rick Bennett talks about fixing the national debt to several hundred people gahtered at Lost Valley in Auburn during the monthly breakfast meeting of the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce in 2013. Bennett and a group of Maine Republicans are opposing the wording on the referendum question on medicaid expansion.

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