LePage, and his Tea Party buddies, can't do simple arithmetic

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LePage, and his Tea Party buddies, can't do simple arithmetic

Post by T on Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:22 am

Medicaid expansion fails in Maine for a third time

AUGUSTA (AP) — The Maine Legislature failed on Friday in its third attempt to overturn Gov. Paul LePage's veto of a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage to 70,000 low-income residents under the federal health care law — an issue that's certain to play prominently in this year's governor's race.

LePage said: "the Senate chose fiscal responsibility instead of spending millions of Maine taxpayer dollars to expand welfare to able-bodied adults who have other options for virtually free health care."

But an estimated 24,000 Mainers who would've received Medicaid under the expansion won't qualify for subsidies, leaving affordable health care out of reach.

SJ Link

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So, these 24,000 end up in EXPENSIVE emergency rooms that we pay for.

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Spending more to save more? It's working.

Last year, Tammy Wilson visited the emergency room 38 times.

The ER offered the only solution she knew would work, and work fast: an intravenous medication that beat back the agonizing headache enough for her to keep her on her feet as a single mother and the on-site manager for two Travel Inn motels.  

Wilson is insured through MaineCare, the state-run Medicaid program for the poor, disabled and elderly. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees MaineCare, was not happy paying for 38 expensive ER visits for one person in one year.

But in its effort to save money, the department didn't cut back Wilson's services.

It gave her more. It all worked.

Wilson, who averaged nearly one ER trip a week last year, has been to the local emergency room only twice in the past four months.

The change has saved the state big ER bills. And Wilson is both happier and healthier.

It sounds counterintuitive: To save money on health care the state should spend more money on health care.

But that's exactly what Maine is doing.

Experts are pleased by early data that show spending more for comprehensive care now may save money down the road and improve people's quality of life.

SJ Link

T

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