Health care providers hold public hearing on Medicaid expansion

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Maine Providers Standing Up For Healthcare.

The group represents more than 250 healthcare providers in our state.

Tuesday they gathered in Augusta, urging the governor to comply with the medicaid expansion law.

They say Tuesday was the deadline for DHHS to submit a MaineCare expansion plan to the federal government.

They fear the voter-approved law will not go into effect unless Governor LePage takes action.

"The longer we wait, the more people will die and the more people will suffer because they can't get healthcare," said clinical social worker, Julie Schirmer.

The Governor released a statement Tuesday evening that said in part...

It would be irresponsible to open up Medicaid enrollment when the program hasn't been funded. We should not make a down payment without a plan to pay for the ongoing cost.

He says he has a plan on how to pay for expansion without jeopardizing the state's long-term fiscal health.

A plan that he says could be put into effect once approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.