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Maine will finally expand Medicaid

A sign that reads "We the people want healthcare now" sits on a windowsill
Photo: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Maine voters approved the state's Medicaid expansion in 2017. In early 2019, it'll finally happen.

Why it matters: The successful ballot initiative in Maine inspired three more this year — all of them successful — and advocates are already looking ahead to the states where similar ballot questions could stand a good chance in 2020.

Details: Gov. Paul LePage has refused to implement the expansion, despite voters' approval and legal challenges to his recalcitrance.

  • The judge handling those challenges issued a procedural ruling yesterday that effectively renders the lawsuits moot and sets a Feb. 1 deadline to begin enrolling people in the program, the Portland Press Herald reports. Benefits will be retroactive to July.
  • Democratic Gov.-elect Janet Mills also takes office Jan. 2 and has said she would immediately implement the expansion.

The bottom line: Maine's Medicaid program will finally, actually expand within a month of LePage leaving office.

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