Your opinion page piece, “Compromise is not a ‘sin,’ governor,” urging Paul LePage to accept the Democrat deal of paying off the hospital debt of $484 million, provided he simultaneously agrees to a Medicaid expansion, is flat out flim-flam!

Ordinarily, a “compromise” is a settlement of competing contentions, each of which has stable footing. No question Maine has owed our hospitals millions for years and LePage has a positive plan to pay it through revenue from liquor sales; saving $5 million if paid by October.

The Democrat “condition precedent” aims to expand Medicaid to 55,000 additional Mainers, under “Obamacare,” at a time when LePage has asked the Obama administration to pay Maine for affected Maine recipients for 10 years rather than the much shorter time in the law.

The feds have yet to answer that request, rendering Democrat leverage against the governor unstable. Democrat plans delaying payment past October wastes millions.

The referenced newspaper opinion argues Maine accept expansion of Medicaid, under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) because Arizona, Florida and Ohio have. Any doubt in your mind, whether Maine’s current program costs more than theirs?

Those states can withstand expansion when the greater generosity of Maine’s program lacks wiggle room. Washington history is replete with the feds cutting back on promised state funding regarding mandates.

The newspaper opinion fails to distinguish the governor’s plan of “apples” (hospital debt) from the Democrat plan of “oranges” (Medicaid expansion). The Biblical account of fruit-prompted “sin” in the Garden of Eden is definitely distinguishable.

John Benoit, Manchester

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