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In a 13-page court ruling issued on Monday, Maine Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy ordered Gov. Paul LePage's administration to begin implementing voter-approved Medicaid expansion. Murphy's ruling gives the Maine Department of Health and Human Services until June 11 to submit a plan to the federal government for expanding Medicaid to approximately 70,000 low-income Mainers. An analysis by Manatt Health put the state's net cost in 2021 of Medicaid expansion at $61.9 million — with an additional $489.5 million to be paid by the federal government. The nonpartisan Maine Office of Fiscal and Program Review offered similar cost projections, saying it would cost the state $55 million in fiscal year 2021, with the federal contribution being $525 million. LePage consistently has said that even with federal support, Maine cannot afford expansion — citing previous MaineCare expansion efforts in 2001 and 2003 that led to annual shortfalls of $50 million to $100 million, resulting in the state owing hundreds of millions of dollars to Maine hospitals.
Do you agree with Monday’s court ruling that Gov. LePage must now begin implementing the Medicaid expansion approved by voters last November?