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Mills signs order to expand Medicaid in Maine — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Mills signs order to expand Medicaid in Maine

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Janet Mills

Before the end of her first day in office on Thursday, Gov. Janet Mills signed an executive order directing the state Department of Health and Human Services to “swiftly and efficiently” begin implementing a statewide expansion of Medicaid.

Mills was sworn in as 75th governor of Maine on Wednesday evening, and by Thursday afternoon, she had fulfilled her campaign promise to Mainers by moving to enact the expansion on her first day in office.

The 71-year-old governor also directed DHHS to work with the Legislature to find sustainable funding sources for the expansion, and partner with health care providers and patients and provide a communications and outreach strategy to help enroll eligible Mainers in order to speed up the application processing time.

Mills said she is moving quickly to implement the expansion so “we can help more Maine people access the health care they need.”

In November 2017, Maine became the first state to approve Medicaid expansion by referendum. Since then, efforts to implement the voter-approved expansion have stalled, as former Gov. Paul LePage fought it in court and vetoed the previous Legislature’s plan to fund implementation.

This story will be updated.

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