But LePage said no.

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But LePage said no.

Post by T on Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:06 am

MaineGeneral Medical Center couldn't join a nonprofit pool because in 2011, shortly before it went looking for financing, Gov. Paul LePage effectively shut down the 20-year-old pool program. In his first months in office, he refused to sign a pool bond package, preventing hospitals, colleges, community charities and other nonprofits from issuing bonds together through the quasi-state agency Maine Health and Higher Education Facilities Authority.

Three years later, he still hasn't signed and the program is still shut down.

Because LePage said no.

"On the health care side, for example ... if they borrow $100 million and pay 1 or 2 percent less on interest, that means that the cost for Medicaid goes down (because the hospital can afford to charge less)," Lenna said. "It is financially mind-boggling that we've walked away from the program."

But LePage said no.

Lenna created the program for Maine about 25 years ago. At the time, nursing homes were struggling under variable rate debt and legislators wanted to help.

But LePage said no.

"The idea that somehow or other it has a negative impact on the state's credit rating is demonstrably nonsense," Lenna said. "It is truly unfortunate that hospitals and colleges and small mental health facilities and the nonprofits around the state are paying substantially more, if they can borrow at all."

But LePage said no.

"We attempted to review with people around him, like the state treasurer (Bruce Poliquin) and members of his staff," Lenna said. "What it was and how it worked, that there had never been an issue, that it saved tens of millions of dollars.

But LePage said no.

"It has a multiplier effect in terms of the jobs that are created, the facilities and infrastructure that's there," she said. "And, in addition, it's just going to cost more later. If you're not doing some of these capital projects and you're putting off maintenance, you've just got a bigger hole to fill later. Bigger because of rates, bigger because of wear and tear that's occurred over that time."

But LePage said no.

Goodwin said the authority hasn't tried sending another pool bond to the governor for his signature. It costs the nonprofits time and money to get to that point in the bond process, he said, and the governor has made no indication that he's changed his mind since 2011.

Remember, it's EASY to say NO.  It requires NO THOUGHT or INTELLIGENCE.


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