News & Perspectives

Maine Superior Court Justice orders state administration to carry out voter-approved Medicaid Expansion

7. June 2018 Sam Fish Health

On Monday, June 4, 2018, Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy ordered the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to submit by June 11, 2018 a state plan to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)to provide expanded Medicaid eligibility to appropriate Maine residents pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  

The Court action was in response to a law enacted by vote of the people of Maine on November 7, 2017, requiring the State to implement a program of Medicaid expansion.  This was the first instance of Medicaid expansion enacted by voter referendum. 

Republican Governor Paul LePage and his administration have opposed the expansion because of budgetary concerns.  But the Court concluded that the law passed by the voters required the administration to proceed to carry out the expansion. 

The case is Maine Equal Justice Partners v. Commissioner, Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Business and Consumer Court, Civil Action, Doc. No. BCD-AP-18-02.