Maine Hospitals Will Lose $600 Million, Forgo 1,500 Jobs if Maine Does Not Accept Federal Affordable Care Act Funds

While Governor LePage touts the bipartisan payment deal, his opposition to increasing health coverage puts hospital future finances at risk
Augusta. Maine (Wednesday, September 18, 2013) As Governor LePage holds a media event in Lewiston today to celebrate the bipartisan hospital payment deal, the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) released updated analysis of the impacts on Maine hospitals from his opposition to accepting more than $1 billion in federal Affordable Care Act funds to cover the full cost of increasing health coverage to 69,500 Mainers over the next three years. MECEP estimates that turning down more than $1 billion in federal funds will cost Maine hospitals more than $600 million and hundreds of jobs from 2014 to 2016.

“While the governor claims credit for this bipartisan effort to repay hospitals, his continued campaign against the Affordable Care Act threatens the future financial stability of these same hospitals, puts hundreds of jobs at risk, and leaves tens of thousands of Mainers without health coverage,” said MECEP executive director Garrett Martin. “These impacts will affect every region and every county in Maine, including significant job losses in rural areas still reeling from the Great Recession. Accepting federal funds to pay the full cost of increased health coverage is a win for Maine’s hospitals, Maine’s economy, and the health of 69,500 Mainers.”

In the recent session, the governor vetoed bipartisan legislation to accept these federal funds. MECEP based its analysis of the impact on Maine hospitals on the recent bill’s provision to revisit the state’s commitment to the Affordable Care Act funding after three years. Legislative leaders recently announced plans to try again to pass legislation with enough votes to override another LePage veto.

Highlights from MECEP’s updated analysis include:

• Health care jobs, including those at Maine hospitals, account for nearly 1 in every 5 jobs in the state. – MECEP analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly and Annual Industry Employment and Wage data

• Maine stands to lose more than $1 billion by not accepting federal funds over the next three years – MECEP analysis based on information contained in “Federal Health Care Funding Makes Dollars and Sense for Maine”

• Maine hospitals stand to lose approximately $600 million by not accepting federal funds over the next three years – MECEP analysis as above

• On an annual basis, forgoing these funds will result in approximately 4,400 fewer jobs in Maine of which approximately 1,500 are jobs at Maine hospitals – MECEP analysis as above

Click here for a county by county analysis of the impacts of accepting federal funds including job impacts at Maine hospitals.