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Effort Launches to Expand Medicaid in Maine Through Ballot Initiative

Patty Wight
Maine Public
Robyn Merrill (right) of Mainers for Health Care at a Wednesday press conference.

Mainers for Health Care officially launched their campaign to expand Medicaid though a ballot initiative this November.

Dr. Elizabeth Rothe, a family medicine physician at Central Maine Medical Center, says expanding the insurance program will not only help an estimated 70,000 Mainers, it will also help hospitals.

"Caring for patients who cannot pay their bills puts hospital budgets in the red," Rothe says. "It jeopardizes jobs, departments, and even entire hospitals. Maine needs to expand Medicaid."

Under the Affordable Care Act, states that expand Medicaid receive extra federal dollars. Maine lawmakers have approved expansion five times, but Governor LePage has vetoed the legislation.