MAINE: GOP Gov. Paul LePage Vows To Block Medicaid Expansion Despite Successful Ballot Measure

Talking Points Memo reports:

Maine voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to become the first state in the nation to expand Medicaid by ballot initiative, approving the measure by a nearly 20-point margin.

But Republican Gov. Paul LePage, a vehement opponent of Medicaid who has vetoed expansion bills five times since the Affordable Care Act became law, is threatening once again to block more than 80,000 low-income Mainers from gaining access to government health insurance.

In a statement Wednesday morning, LePage said he would not allow expansion to go into effect until the program “has been fully funded by the Legislature at the levels DHHS has calculated.”

The group behind the referendum says that per Maine’s constitution, the expansion will become law in 45 days no matter what LePage does.