Three years ago this week, Governor Janet Mills signed an executive order expanding Medicaid in Maine, which now provides more than 85,000 Mainers access to health care so that they may see their doctors, receive preventive care, and afford medications. However, with long-time opponent of Medicaid expansion Paul LePage running for a third term, this important progress could be in jeopardy.

As Governor, LePage repeatedly opposed efforts to expand Medicaid in the state. On five separate occasions, he vetoed bipartisan expansion bills, calling the obstruction “among the most important acts of my governorship.” Even after Maine voters overwhelmingly endorsed it in a 2017 referendum, LePage refused to implement expansion, claiming he would “go to jail” before implementing the measure. Since announcing his campaign, LePage has continued to be misleadingly critical of Medicaid expansion.

“Medicaid expansion is providing much-needed health care to tens of thousands of Maine people, which has been all the more important during the COVID-19 pandemic – and we have Governor Mills to thank for that,” said Drew Gattine, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. “As a legislator, I watched Paul LePage stand in the way of every bipartisan effort to expand health care, and I watched him deny the will of Maine voters who clearly knew that expanding health care was good for Maine. As he runs for a third term, I think Maine people need to be concerned that LePage will once again do all he can to repeal it and put their health at risk.”