Much to the Obama administration’s unceasing chagrin, several states are still in the throes of figuring out whether or not they want to comply with the administration’s desperate requests and join the ranks of those other states that are expanding their Medicaid rolls through a handful of different methods — but here’s another one the administration can strike off its list of potentials, at least for now.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill Wednesday that would expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 70,000 residents under President Barack Obama’s federal health care law and privatize the program through managed care, sending the measure back to the Legislature, where two-thirds of lawmakers would be needed to overturn his rejection of the bill.
In his veto letter, LePage reiterated his staunch opposition to the proposal, saying it would have a ‘‘disastrous impact on Maine’s budget’’ and calling the proposed savings through the expansion and managed care ‘‘mirages.’’ He also vetoed the plan the two other times the Democratic-controlled Legislature sent it to his desk last year.
‘‘Proponents of this bill tout ‘free’ federal money and unspecified state ‘savings’ with no backup for these claims,’’ LePage said. ‘‘It is shortsighted to think federal funds will always be available, especially after watching the federal deficit climb and witnessing continual delays and changes from Washington.’’
This is the third time LePage has vetoed the idea, and seeing as how the legislature’s previous two attempts to override the veto couldn’t muster the necessary two-thirds majority votes, it doesn’t look any more likely this time around. I must say, I do wonder how MSNBC’s Chris Hayes will fit this latest development into his bizarro theory about the real reason motivating all of these states and governors declining to buy in the the egregiously expensive and false promise that is the Obama administration’s Medicaid expansion plan. So fascinating, really.