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Health

LePage Calls for State Health Insurer

Gov. Paul LePage is blasting Republicans in Congress for not supporting House Speaker Paul Ryan’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Speaking on Bangor radio station WVOM, LePage called for a new state-chartered health insurer to make sure Mainers have access to coverage.

LePage said the failure of Congress to come up with a replacement to the ACA could leave Mainers in the lurch, with no health insurer left in the state.

“What’s the federal government going to do, I mean they sit, they go hide. They don’t want to do anything. We have to take care of our people. The people are No. 1, and if Congress can’t see that, shame on them,” he said.

Instead, LePage said he’s considering a health insurance model similar to the Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Co., set up in 1992 to provide workers comp insurance.

“What I am suggesting is, go to the Legislature and see if they won’t create an insurance company like we did with MEMIC and workers comp,” he said.

But he offered no details about how the new health insurer would be set up or whether his plan has the Democratic support it would need to pass.