Democratic Gov. Janet Mills announced Wednesday that the federal government has approved the state's plan to expand Medicaid health insurance to low-income Mainers.
The federal government's acceptance of the state's proposal means that expansion of Medicaid can continue as planned.
The approval also ends a long, bitter political fight over Medicaid expansion, which resulted in multiple iterations advanced by the Maine Legislature that were stopped by vetoes from former-Republican Gov. Paul LePage. LePage had refused to implement expansion after it was passed by voters in 2017, leading to a long court battle that the former governor lost.
Mills vowed to implement the law on day one of her administration, yet her promise also hinged upon approval from the federal government.
Expansion Snapshot as of March 29, 2019 via Maine.gov
It's estimated that Medicaid expansion will provide health coverage to 70,000 Mainers and the Department of Health and Human Services reported on March 29 that nearly 17,000 residents have been approved for coverage under expansion so far.