Many of the more than 50 State Legislators who have endorsed a responsible solution on the state budget will join 175 members of the Maine People's Alliance in the Hall of Flags on Thursday to declare that the burden of balancing the budget shouldn't fall solely on those who can least afford it.

The Maine People's Alliance today joins the calls for an investigation into the conduct of Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner and former corporate lobbyist Mary Mayhew for providing incorrect budgetary information to the Legislature which played a role in the loss of all health care for more than 14,000 Mainers and service cuts for hundreds of thousands more.

LD 1746: Supplemental budget to fix shortfall in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

Due mostly to a series of incorrect estimates and miscalculations by the LePage administration, Maine’s budget is facing a $221 million shortfall for this year and next in the Department of Health and Human Services.

To fill this gap, Governor LePage has proposed a massive set of cuts that would eliminate health care completely for more than 60,000 Mainers and deny basic health care services to hundreds of thousands more.

Americans and Mainers are starting to see the effects of the two major health reform laws of the last few years. The federal Affordable Care Act doesn’t cover everyone, but it has provided more access to care for more people and will do more as more provisions of the law go into effect. The health insurance industry deregulation bill, on the other hand, which was passed by Maine’s Republican Legislature and signed into law by Governor LePage last year, has decreased access by dramatically increasing rates. 

Today (Wednesday, February 8th) the Appropriations Committee of the Maine Legislature announced a budget plan for 2012 that eliminates all health care for more than 14,000 Mainers and cuts important preventative care measures for hundreds of thousands more. It also allows for more possible cuts in the yet-unresolved budget for 2013.

Should we cut health care services for more than a hundred thousand Mainers, including seniors, the poor, people with disabilities and children?

Or, should we cancel the new tax cuts for the rich, make sure the 1% pay their fair share and invest in quality care that will cost us less and keep Maine healthier?


Ten years ago, President George W. Bush signed into law a $1.35 trillion tax cut primarily benefiting the wealthiest Americans and plunging our country into massive debt. Bush’s tax cuts have exacerbated the divide between the super-wealthy and the rest of us. Today, 1% of Americans now control 40% of the nation’s wealth. Millionaires and corporations are paying less in taxes than they ever have before.

This legislative session there were a lot of changes to the healthcare system, and unfortunately most of them will make life harder for the thousands of Mainers who struggle to find quality, affordable health insurance. The worst of these was LD 1333, the insurance deregulation and rate hike bill, which was rushed through the legislature, passed along party lines and signed by the Governor in May.