Read the full report | As state legislators in Augusta work to close a $200 million budget shortfall, they would be well advised to take a careful look at the state’s enormously expensive Medicaid program. Once designed to provide health care to only the state’s most needy and vulnerable, eligibility for the program has grown dramatically. In fact, almost $146 million a year could be saved by establishing more reasonable eligibility limits for non-disabled adults under the age of 65.
To his credit, Governor Baldacci noted in his State of the State Address that Maine’s Medicaid is the most expensive Medicaid program in the country. He should have also noted that it has the fifth most excessive income eligibility limits, which determine how much a non-disabled parent can earn and still receive government-sponsored health care. He should also have noted that parents can earn three to five times more in Maine and qualify for Medicaid compared to the US average.