Opinion

Medicaid expansion benefits

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To the Editor;
Thank you to Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton for setting the record straight about Medicaid in Maine in an Aug 21 BDN OpEd. Gov. Paul LePage’s refusal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare has cost the state tremendously.

States that did expand Medicaid saw uninsured rates decline and access to care increase — obviously. Perhaps less obvious, their economies improved as well. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation review, Colorado supported 31,074 additional jobs because of Medicaid expansion as of the 2015-16 fiscal year, while Kentucky’s expansion would create an estimated 40,000 jobs through 2021.

The Kaiser Family Foundation also reported that in Ohio most expansion enrollees who were unemployed but looking for work said that Medicaid enrollment made it easier to seek employment, and those who were employed reported that Medicaid enrollment made it easier to continue working.

Maine might have realized similar benefits, with the federal government picking up most of the cost.

Maine voters will make their preference for expansion known in November.

But Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King must keep their guard up now as the GOP looks to the 2018 budget process and upcoming tax reform to kill the expansion and restructure Medicaid as a block grant. Don’t let them steal health care from our neediest neighbors.

Alison Hall
Greenville

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