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Initiative to Expand Medicaid Qualifies for Maine Ballot

Patty Wight
Maine Public/file
Leslie Clark, CEO of Greater Portland Health, discusses the signature drive for Medicaid expansion at news conference in Portland in October of 2016.

PORTLAND, Maine - A citizen initiative to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act has qualified for the November 2017 ballot. 

The Secretary of State's office certified more than 66,000 signatures that were collected from October to January.

Robyn Merrill, of Maine Equal Justice Partners, says even though the future of the ACA is uncertain, "one thing that's not going to change is the need for more affordable health care for Maine people.  And we know that this is a problem that needs to be solved, and this is a solution that's available to Maine right now."

Merrill says the Legislature will consider bills to expand Medicaid this session, but if those efforts don't pass, a group called Mainers for Health Care will work to get the citizen initiative passed in November.