Maine Takes Legal Action to Approve Medicaid Cuts
Earlier this year, Maine Gov. Paul LePage proposed to save $66 million in Medicaid costs over the next 18 months by eliminating coverage for 65,000 state residents. The plan was then revised to cut $20 million and drop 36,000 people from the Medicaid rolls, but the cuts are still mired in controversy since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mostly prohibits states making Medicaid cuts before the program expands in 2014, according to the report.
In a letter dated Aug. 1, Gov. LePage's administration asked CMS to decide on Maine's request by Sept. 1, but CMS said it may not make its final decision until later. CMS has 90 days to rule on Medicaid's request, which could put a decision at the end of October.
CMS said in the report it would not comment on pending litigation. Maine Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew said she was "disappointed" CMS did not act on the state's request for an expedited approval and that Maine still plans to move forward with the cuts, which were approved by state legislators.
Several city mayors in the state are protesting the Medicaid cuts, saying they present "significant hardships" to those losing coverage and to the surrounding communities, according to a Forecaster report.
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