We all want to see more people covered with health insurance to prevent bankruptcies and untreated medical conditions. That’s why I can see many regular people initially supporting a proposal to expand Medicaid welfare coverage to 70,000 able-bodied, working-age adults.

When I did my research, however, I quickly found that there are huge downsides and real alternatives to Medicaid expansion. Half of those eligible for expanded Medicaid already are eligible for private plans on the exchange for $4-$10 per week without risk to the state budget. The other half can get care at the 151 federally qualified health centers throughout the state.

Maine’s Medicaid program has doubled in size in the past 15 years and will consume almost half the state budget within 10 years, causing tax increases and cuts to education, law enforcement, town budgets, and more. Medicaid in Maine causes shortfalls every year and expanding it under Obamacare is projected to cost $800 million over 10 years. When will we say “enough”?

Ed Goff Madison

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