Maine GOP Gov.: House Should ‘Rethink What They’re Doing’ On Health Care

**OTK**In this Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011 photo, Gov. Paul LePage reacts during a news conference at the State House in Augusta, Maine..  (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Maine Gov. Paul LePage offered general criticisms of House Republicans’ proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, saying that they should “rethink what they’re doing.”

LePage made the criticism Tuesday morning in a call to the “George Hale and Ric Tyler Show” on WVOM, surfaced by CNN.

“Right now, I am very, very discouraged and disappointed with what the House Republicans are introducing,” LePage said of the proposal. “Basically it’s not much better than — in fact, I don’t know, they haven’t scored it yet, so we don’t know what the cost is. But based on what I see and I’m reading and what has happened here in Maine over the last 15 years, I don’t think it’s an improvement.”

“I think what they need to do is rethink what they’re doing,” he added. “Because we’ve already lived it. We’ve had the early expansion. We’ve lived through Obamacare. We’ve learned some lessons and they ought to be watching and listening and using the data that we have.”

A spokesperson for LePage didn’t immediately reply to TPM’s request for comment, but LePage’s reference to “early expansion” appears to be in reference to the state’s MaineCare program, which expanded in 2002. As governor, LePage has vetoed multiple efforts to expand the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.

In May of last year, LePage incorrectly said that his vetoes had not resulted in thousands of Mainers, who would have otherwise been eligible for coverage, going without.

After a petition to include Medicaid expansion received a sufficient amount of signatures earlier this year, the state will vote on expansion in November.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK