In a contest seen by many as a referendum on President Donald Trump, Democrat Ralph Northam accepted victory on Tuesday evening within the Virginia governor’s race. AP reporter Steve Peoples breaks down what it means nationally. (Nov. 7)

Supporters of Medicaid enlargement have a good time their victory Nov. 7, 2017, in Portland, Maine. Maine voters say they wish to be a part of 31 different states in increasing Medicaid underneath the Affordable Care Act, the signature well being invoice of former President Barack Obama.(Photo: Robert F. Bukaty, AP)

Maine might develop into Obamacare’s subsequent fierce battlefield after Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday rejected the need of state voters and slammed the brakes on a plan to develop Medicaid.

LePage, hours after voters overwhelmingly permitted broadening the important thing part of Obamacare, mentioned he will not go ahead till lawmakers absolutely fund the enlargement. The affect of LePage’s place was not instantly clear, however a courtroom battle might loom.

Maine would develop into the 32nd state together with Washington, D.C., to develop this system and the primary to take action via a referendum.

“Credit agencies are predicting that this fiscally irresponsible Medicaid expansion will be ruinous to Maine’s budget,” LePage, a Republican who has repeatedly vetoed legislative efforts to expand the program, said in a statement. “I will not support increasing taxes on Maine families raiding the rainy day fund or reducing services to our elderly or disabled.”

Maine, with about 1.three million folks, has the nation’s oldest inhabitants whereas being severely affected by the nationwide opioid epidemic.

The referendum, referred to as “Question 2”, requires the state to present Medicaid via MaineCare for folks underneath 65 with incomes beneath 138% of the official poverty line. That would add greater than 70,000 folks to MaineCare rolls, a rise of greater than 25%. 

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LePage says the plan would offer “free” well being care to working-age, able-bodied adults, most of whom don’t have dependents.

About 11 million folks have gained protection within the 31 states that already expanded Medicaid, with the federal authorities bearing the overwhelming majority of the prices.

Mainers for Health Care, the coalition that ran the “Yes on 2” marketing campaign, framed the enlargement as a monetary boon, saying it could convey greater than $500 million a 12 months in new funding into the state, badist hospitals and create an estimated 6,000 jobs.

“Maine voters have made it clear: They want more people to have access to health care,” co-chair Robyn Merrill mentioned. “Tonight is a superb evening for the folks of Maine and our financial system.”

LePage, nonetheless, blames Medicaid enlargement then-governor Angus King instituted in 2002 for a $750 million debt to hospitals and big finances shortfalls yearly. He says it failed to cut back emergency room use or the variety of uninsured Mainers.

That enlargement, LePage says, “took sources away from our most susceptible residents— the aged and the intellectually and bodily disabled.”

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