Republican Gov. Paul LePage vetoed efforts from Maine’s state legislature to expand Medicaid multiple times over several years, vowing that he just wasn’t going to let it happen. The people of Maine decided to go over his head, and passed the expansion in a ballot initiative in November. But LePage is thwarting the will of the voters, and refusing to go along with the expansion. He’s insisted on a set of conditions for his approval that the legislature simply can’t meet. So he’s getting sued.
“With the goal of getting health care to people as soon as possible, we decided we couldn’t wait any longer,” said Robyn Merrill of Maine Equal Justice Partners, one of the advocacy groups behind the lawsuit. […]
Roughly 80,000 low-income Maine adults are supposed to qualify for Medicaid benefits starting July 2, according to the ballot measure. The LePage administration skipped an early April deadline to formally notify the federal government it would expand Medicaid.
The lawsuit against the Maine Department of Health and Human Services was filed in state Superior Court. Other groups bringing the lawsuit include the Maine Primary Care Association and Maine Consumers for Affordable Health Care.
The state could have saved the money that’s going to be going toward legal fees to help pay for the expansion, but that’s not how “small government” conservatives like to roll.