Editorial Round Up: Maine Opinion Leaders Weigh in on Proposed Medicaid Cuts

Maine’s newspaper editorial boards continue to criticize the LePage Administration’s proposed cuts to services important to Maine children, seniors, families and individuals with disabilities.

The (Biddeford) Journal Tribune weighed in with a 12/16/2011 editorial labeling the proposal to deny MaineCare coverage to childless healthy young adults “offensive.”  “Those ‘healthy young adults’ are some of the hardest hit by the recession, as recent college graduates are struggling to find work. The unemployment rate for those age 20-24 has hovered around 15 percent for the past few months, and for those age 25-34 the rate has been between 9-10 percent – compared with rates between 6-8 percent for those 35 and older, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.”

In a 12/18/2011 editorial entitled “Our View: Doctor LePage offers wrong cure for DHHS” the Maine Sunday Telegram (MST) issued a scathing assessment of the LePage Administration’s nearly $220 million in proposed cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget.  “If Gov. LePage were a doctor, he might be sued for malpractice: He has not only prescribed the wrong medicine for a budget shortfall in Maine’s health care safety net, he has diagnosed the wrong disease.”  And MST columnist Bill Nemitz reports on a Maine Council of Churches effort to call attention to the moral questions raised by the proposed cuts.

An editorial in this morning’s (12/19/2011) Bangor Daily News (BDN) lays responsibility for the DHHS budget shortfall squarely at the feet of the LePage Administration and suggests a political motive.  “Miscasting a budget problem in order to quickly make changes to fulfill an ideological agenda is politically disingenuous. Doing so at the expense of the state’s most vulnerable people — without plans to help them and their families through the changes — is callous.”