AUGUSTA – Democratic lawmakers on the State’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee today questioned State Attorney General William Schneider on the LePage administration’s effort to remove thousands of families, seniors and people with disabilities from the state’s Medicaid program.
The Republican-controlled legislature and the LePage administration proposed $10 million in illegal cuts in a partisan budget passed last Spring. The US 1st Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the LePage administration’s request to expedite a ruling from the federal government on whether they could move forward with the cuts to health care for more than 20,000 Maine people in September.
“The Republicans are wasting taxpayer dollars to pursue these cuts – which are illegal and ultimately would take health care away from so many Maine seniors, families, and people with disabilities,” said Rep. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, the lead House Democrat on the committee. “Democrats were opposed to the cuts from the start because they were harmful and illegal. It was risky to count on false savings for these irresponsible cuts.”
During the Appropriations meeting, Sen. Dawn Hill, D-York, the Senate Democrat on the committee, asked the Attorney General if any other state had received approval to eliminate these health care services.
Attorney General Schneider told the committee he was unable to answer the question.
“We have a budget hole and they made the choice to rely on false savings to balance their budget,” said Sen. Hill, D-York. “It was irresponsible.”