Maine Legislature

Speakerís Office



Democratic Radio Address Text


 May 3, 2013

 Contact: Jodi Quintero: 841-6279


Eves: Turning down federal health care dollars is worst deal for Maine people

Speaker Eves says LePage plays politics with health care


Good morning, Iím Speaker of the House Mark Eves of North Berwick. Thank you for tuning in.


Weíve all heard stories about someone in our lives who has struggled to pay for health care when they need it most Ė perhaps a friend, a family member or a neighbor, or it may even be you.  


If you walk into any corner store in Maine, youíre likely to see a tin can on the counter to help raise money for someoneís surgery or health care expenses. We hold bean suppers and community potlucks to cover sick Mainers.  We run races and pass the hat to fundraise for those who are sick.  


Now, the federal government is offering to help take away the need for those tin cans.  It will  pay for health care coverage for 70,000 hard working Maine people, who arenít lucky enough to have jobs that provide health insurance.


But Governor LePage is pushing them away.


Itís a good deal that we canít pass up: Turning down these federal health care dollars would send the money to other states. That's why Democratic and Republican Governors across the country have already agreed to expand Medicaid in their states.


Let me make this clear: by not accepting these federal dollars, Governor LePage is making a bad deal --  the worst deal -- for the people of Maine.


Now. Iím asking you to join me -- and nearly 70 percent of Maine people Ė to urge Governor LePage to accept these federal health care dollars -- and stop playing politics with peopleís health care.


Any business person would agree: itís a good deal for Maine. It makes good fiscal sense.


It will help bring health care costs down for EVERYONE.


Maine hospitals are required by law to provide care to people without insurance. Often this care is in the form of expensive emergency room visits that could have been prevented with earlier and less expensive treatment. In the health care industry, this is called charity care.


Charity care costs Maine hospitals $200 million per year Ė and the costs keep going up.Hospitals pass these charity care costs to consumers, including the state and individuals and businesses with private insurance -- driving up all of our bills.


By accepting federal dollars we can significantly reduce that charity care bill. We will lower the stateís costs for Medicaid by $690 million dollars over the next 10 years, according to non-partisan Kaiser Foundation estimates.  


When more people have health care coverage, costs go down for all of us.


If we are truly going to address our hospital debt head on, we should accept these federal dollars. Maineís hospital debt is a symptom of our high health care costs.


Democrats and Governor LePage agree that we must make the final payment on our stateís debt to hospitals.  As we make a final payment on Maineís hospital debt, Democrats believe we must also address the underlying problem that helped cause the debt.  

 We canít just treat the symptom; we have to treat the problem.

 By accepting federal funds and covering more Mainers, we do just that. To address only one of these elements would leave the job half done.

 Join me in urging Governor LePage to accept federal health care dollars and cover more Maine people. Call the Governorís Office at 287Ė3531 and tell him to  and stop playing politics with peopleís health care.


Thank you for listening; Iím Speaker of the House Mark Eves. Have a wonderful day. 

Jodi Quintero

Communications Director

Office of the Speaker of the House

m. 207. 287-1307

c. 207. 841.6279