Last November 60 percent of voters approved Medicaid expansion, making Maine the first state to expand the program through a citizen-initiated referendum. The expansion will open up the program to approximately 70,000 Mainers who earn 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($16,753 for an individual or $34,638 for a family of four).
Governor LePage and his Commissioner of Health and Human Services have continued to refuse to implement the law despite the ruling in Superior Court in June. Maine Equal Justice Partners, Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Maine Primary Care Association, Penobscot Community Health Care and five individuals represented by Drummond Woodsum sued DHHS and the LePage administration to force the administration to comply with the statute. Last June, Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy agreed with the petitioners and ordered the LePage administration to file a state plan amendment with the federal government, the first step in implementing the statute. The amendment has been submitted to the federal government, but the LePage administration continues to refuse to implement the statute, even going as far as asking the federal government not to approve the amendment.
Drummond Woodsum will be back in court on Wednesday, November 7th, seeking an order compelling the Commissioner to implement the rest of the statute, including affirmatively working with the federal government to obtain plan approval, adopting a rule making the new group eligible for benefits, and beginning to enroll people in the program, which should have occurred by July 2nd.
Drummond Woodsum attorneys Jamie Kilbreth and David Kallin were the lead lawyers for the Petitioners.
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