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Lawmakers Consider Expanding Obesity Coverage Under MaineCare

About 30 percent of Mainers are obese. While many with private health insurance have access to a wide array of services to treat it, including medications, those who depend on MaineCare have fewer options.

Lawmakers are considering a bill to require MaineCare to cover broader treatment options, including medications.

“I think it is a major medical emergency in the state of Maine and nationally, I think you all know I work nationally on this issue,” says Dr. Victoria Rogers of Saco, who testified at a committee hearing on the proposal.

Lewiston Sen. Nate Libby, a Democrat, is sponsoring the bill to have MaineCare cover specialist services and some medications, saying it will save the state in the long run by reducing the incidence of heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.

“This is pretty straightforward, commonsense change that we can make to our MaineCare program. This is all about saving money in the long run and helping people live healthier lives,” he says.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.