Maine governor signs order to begin Medicaid expansion

Maine’s new Democratic Gov. Janet Mills ordered the state to move ahead on Medicaid expansion with her first executive order on Thursday, more than a year after voters approved the measure.

The order calls for state health officials to make the necessary changes and work with the Trump administration to “swiftly and efficiently” implement Medicaid expansion.

ADVERTISEMENT

It also directs the state Department of Health and Human Services to work with lawmakers to provide "sustainable" funding for Maine's share of Medicaid expansion.

The order fulfills a campaign promise Mills made to expand Medicaid on her first day in office.  

Maine was the first state to approve expansion by a ballot initiative in 2017, but former GOP Gov. Paul LePage had long blocked it from taking effect. He argued that expansion was not adequately funded, but vetoed a spending bill that would have funded it.

LePage eventually filed a court-ordered expansion plan to the Trump administration, but also urged federal officials to reject it

The expansion is likely to cover an additional 70,000 people.