Gov. Paul LePage’s refusal to accept expansion of Medicaid benefits to 70,000 Mainers not only deprives citizens of health care, it also forces hospitals to treat more uninsured patients in their emergency rooms.

The health care industry is the largest private-sector employer in Maine. My employer, MaineGeneral Medical Center, just eliminated more than 100 positions (read that as “jobs that include benefits”) because of LePage’s veto.

Small rural hospitals, such as Redington-Fairview in Skowhegan and Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, are at risk of closure because of LePage’s pigheadedness. If those hospitals close, where are the residents going to get care? And where are those hospital employees going to find jobs?

The whole rationale of electing a former private-sector CEO to governor is that he would run the state like a business. Would any corporate CEO refuse to accept revenue from a government program because of his personal political objections? If so, he would be fired by the stockholders, because the duty of a CEO is to ensure the prosperity of the company, not to indulge his own political whims. LePage’s failure was a lousy thing to do to people in need, and a lousy thing to do to hospitals.

I thought Republicans were supposed to be good for business. The citizens of Maine should act accordingly this November.

Paul Minot


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