Maine's Natural Resource Agencies' Chiefs Say Medicaid Is Gutting Their Departments

By Moretto, Mario | Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), February 26, 2014 | Go to article overview

Maine's Natural Resource Agencies' Chiefs Say Medicaid Is Gutting Their Departments


Moretto, Mario, Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME)


AUGUSTA, Maine -- Gov. Paul LePage's administration on Wednesday made clear its fierce opposition to a new Republican-led compromise plan on Medicaid expansion and said the administration would not participate in any negotiations on the bill.

"If expansion is on the table, absolutely not," said Mary Mayhew, commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, when asked whether there was any room for compromise.

During a large press conference, Mayhew was joined by the commissioners of the state's natural resource agencies, who said growth in the state's Medicaid program was eating away at their budgets.

The natural resource commissioners -- from the Departments of Agriculture, Marine Resources, Environmental Protection and Inland Fisheries & Wildlife -- don't often get involved with policy debates outside their agencies. Their involvement in the Medicaid expansion debate represented the strongest push yet by LePage to gain traction with his core message in recent weeks: that Medicaid spending is "cannibalizing" other state programs.

State general fund spending on Medicaid has grown from $475.5 million in 2002 to $776.2 million in 2012, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. During that time, appropriations from the state's general fund grew from $2.6 billion to $3.1 billion.

The total program cost, including state and federal dollars, has more than doubled since 2000, from $1.2 billion to $2.5 billion.

Mayhew said that increased spending has "come directly at the expense of other significant priorities."

Agriculture Commissioner Walter Whitcomb said the state's natural resource agencies had lost $13 million in state funding in just five years, a reduction he attributes to lawmakers' sweeping appropriations into MaineCare.

"We represent what Maine is widely known for, its iconic image," Whitcomb said. "But the natural resource agencies have taken it on the chin, financially."

Patrick Keliher, commissioner of the Marine Resources Department, said spending for his agency has been swept up by lawmakers who needed to cover growing costs of Medicaid each year. That has affected DMR's ability to manage the state's lobster population, he said.

"Our ability to do additional research, to make determinations to ensure the information we have right now is accurate, to make future management decisions, is jeopardized -- jeopardizing 5,000 license holders and an industry worth upwards of $900 million for our coastal communities," he said.

Jessamine Logan, DEP spokeswoman, said that in the past 10 years, $7.3 million had been taken from her agency by lawmakers looking to fill holes elsewhere in the budget.

"This means that contaminated properties, which need to be cleaned up and put back into productive use for our economy, remain on a waiting list -- potentially contaminating our fisheries and wild, natural resources and habitats," she said.

Said DIF&W Commissioner Chandler Woodcock: "As Medicaid consumes more funding in our state, our natural resources and the departments that oversee them take the hit. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Maine's Natural Resource Agencies' Chiefs Say Medicaid Is Gutting Their Departments
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.