Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage and a top legislative ally were previewing their strategies to block Medicaid expansion hours after Maine voters passed it.

Voters backed Medicaid expansion by a comfortable margin, but it’s going to be a fight to get it implemented. Maine voted 59 percent in favor of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, becoming the first state to do that at the ballot box. It’s a move that could provide health coverage to an estimated 70,000 people.

But LePage, who has vetoed it five times, said in a statement Wednesday that his administration won’t implement it until the Legislature funds it at the levels calculated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services without tax increases or a raid of the rainy day fund.

Robyn Merrill, campaign co-chair for “Yes On 2,” which seeks to expand Medicaid coverage in Maine, talks about the voting results at Bayside Bowl in Portland.

Posted by The Bangor Daily News on Tuesday, 7 November 2017

House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, said the same thing Wednesday on WVOM. But House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, said in a Wednesday statement that LePage and the Legislature must “fully and faithfully implement this law.”

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