The federal government will not provide 10 years of 100 percent support for a Maine Medicaid expansion, but it will still provide most of the money.
Written by Steve Mistler, State House Reporter
AUGUSTA – The federal government cannot grant Gov. Paul LePage's request for 10 years of full funding for an expansion of Medicaid in Maine, says the agency that administers the program.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services delivered the message to the LePage administration in a letter on May 24.
The decision wasn't unexpected, but it revived the heated debate among state lawmakers and Le- Page over whether Maine should extend benefits to 60,000 more low-income residents. The federal government has given several states flexibility for their participation in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, but no state has secured a deal to fully fund expansion for a decade.
Medicaid, which operates in Maine as MaineCare, is a federal health insurance program that is jointly administered and funded with the states. Its complex eligibility and reimbursement rules enable critics and supporters alike to seize on numbers that make their case.
That's what happened at the State House on Thursday.