The Latest: Maine voters approve measure to expand Medicaid
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The Latest on the Maine referendum to expand Medicaid (all times local):
Maine voters say they want to join 31 other states in expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the signature health bill of former President Barack Obama.
Tuesday’s referendum represented the first time since the law took effect that the question of expansion had been put in front of U.S. voters.
Some 11 million people in the country have gotten coverage through the expansion of Medicaid, a health insurance program for low income people.
The vote in Maine was a rebuke of Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who vetoed five different attempts by the state Legislature to expand the program. It follows repeated failures by President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans in Congress to repeal Obama’s law.
Results are being tallied in a closely watched Maine referendum that would expand Medicaid in the state.
Voters went to the polls on Tuesday. No announcement of a winner had been made yet by 10 p.m., but the vote in favor of expansion was ahead with more than half of precincts reporting. The referendum has attracted national attention because it concerns a key piece of former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
The referendum represents the first time since the law took effect that the expansion of Medicaid has been put before voters.
Maine’s Trump-aligned Republican Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed five tries to expand the program by the state Legislature.
Voters in Maine are deciding if they want to join 31 other states and expand Medicaid under former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
It’s the first time since the law took effect that the expansion question has been put before voters.
The ballot measure comes after Maine’s Republican governor vetoed five attempts to expand the program. It also acts as a bookend to a year in which President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans tried and failed repeatedly to repeal the health care law.
Activists on both sides of the issue are looking at the initiative as a sort of national referendum on one of the key pillars of the law. Roughly 11 million people nationwide have gained coverage through the expansion of Medicaid.