Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) was scolded during a radio interview on Wednesday regarding the issue of expanding Medicaid in his state, the Maine People’s Alliance Beacon reported.
LePage has vetoed five bills that would have done so, each of which would have allowed the state to take part in the Affordable Care Act’s state exchange program and be eligible for federal reimbursement.
He argued to Maine Calling host Jennifer Rooks that the state would not qualify for that reimbursement. LePage also expressed skepticism that doing so has cut off around 24,000 residents from health insurance they would get under the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare.
“We are providing everything that we can by law. We are following the law,” he argued. “Expanding Medicaid isn’t gonna help those folks because they don’t qualify anyways. That’s the problem people don’t understand.”
But was quickly confronted by a caller identifying herself as Laura.
“LePage is wrong in saying that people aren’t affected or they wouldn’t get the insurance,” she said. “I would get the insurance if we accepted that money federally.”
“Why don’t you now?” he asked.
“Because I make too little money to be on Obamacare,”she replied. “It’s expected that if you go to Obamacare that you’re going to make a certain amount of money so you can afford the premiums.”
Laura explained that she did not qualify because she made less than $11,500 a year, prompting LePage to reply, “Then you qualify for Medicaid.”
“You don’t get Medicaid unless you’re pregnant, disabled or over 55,” she shot back.
“That’s not true,” LePage insisted.
Laura said that she has been told so for cases including not only herself, but people she has helped in her job as a social worker.
Maine Public Broadcasting, which carries the show, later reported that LePage’s administration released a statement admitting that LePage misspoke regarding the state’s eligibility for reimbursement, which would allow for 60,000 residents to receive health care under the law.
[h/t Daily Kos]