Failure to Override Health Care Funding Veto “Economic Folly and Human Tragedy”

Augusta, Maine (Wednesday, June 19, 2013) Garrett Martin, executive director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP), issued the following statement today on the initial vote in the Maine House to override Governor Paul LePage’s veto of LD 1066, An Act to Increase Access to Health Coverage and Qualify Maine for Federal Funding. 
“Failure to override Governor LePage’s veto is both economic folly and human tragedy. Accepting federal funds to increase health coverage would save 1,400 existing jobs, create 3,100 new jobs, and infuse more than $350 million annually into Maine’s economy. Maine needs these jobs. Maine’s job growth since the official end of the recession in June 2009 ranks 44th out of 50 states and dead last in New England.
“More important, it would save lives and money by making nearly 70,000 Mainers eligible for health coverage. MECEP analysis has shown that every county in Maine will lose significant economic and health benefits if the state turns down these funds. Maine taxpayers will pay for health benefits in other states and get none of the benefits. We urge legislators to reconsider this decision which is the best opportunity they have as legislators to boost Maine’s economy and improve health coverage for Maine people.”
Martin authored an op ed published today in the Portland Press Herald urging legislators to override the governor’s veto.