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Governor’s Address: Important Questions Regarding Our Future Are on the Ballot; Make Your Voice Known

Maine needs you to make important decisions that will affect our future. Please vote on November 7.

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

There are several important issues on the ballot, including two statewide citizens’ initiatives, a bond question and a proposal to amend our state constitution.

Question 1 is about putting a third casino in Maine. The casino can only be in York County and can only be operated by one legal entity. Don’t be misled by the slick ad campaigns.

Question 1 is not about funding our schools, creating jobs or lowering taxes. It is about gambling. Period.

The gambling market in Maine is already saturated. A third casino will take business away from existing casinos in Bangor and Oxford, and it would have to compete with new casinos opening in Massachusetts. It will not boost the economy.

The special interest group behind the ballot question is the only entity that can operate this casino. They have not been honest and upfront about Question 1. Remember, in gambling, the house always wins—and the house owns Question 1.

Question 2 is also backed by big money. In this case, it’s by those who are trying to expand Medicaid again. But don’t be fooled. This Medicaid expansion is not for children or the elderly. They are already covered by Medicaid.

This Medicaid expansion would give “free” healthcare to able-bodied adults who can work and contribute to their own health insurance costs.

I’ve said it before: “free” is very expensive to somebody. This time, it will cost Maine taxpayers up to $500 million in the next five years. Maine learned this the hard way when it expanded Medicaid in 2002.

We don’t need to look at imaginary numbers from liberal think tanks. We already lived through the disaster of Medicaid expansion.

The promises did not pan out. It did not create savings, reduce charity care or decrease the number of uninsured Mainers. In fact, enrollment far exceeded projections. It resulted in massive Medicaid shortfalls and annual state budget crises. We saw no decline in emergency room use or the number of uninsured Mainers.

To pay for this “free” healthcare, Maine took money away from our nursing homes, and it put vulnerable people on waitlists for services they need.

Those who pushed to expand Medicaid the last time were wrong on every promise. And they are back again, selling the same story. They are ignoring the financial disaster Medicaid expansion caused in Maine and is now causing throughout the nation.

Don’t fall for their false promises. And don’t be misled by hospitals. They only want to expand Medicaid to put more money in their pocket and the wallets of their CEOs. It has nothing to do with improving healthcare.

Question 2 will thrust Maine back into a financial crisis, and it will  put our most vulnerable citizens back on waiting lists. Even worse, it will encourage able-bodied people to work less or not at all.

Please educate yourself on these issues before you vote.

Thank you,

Paul R. LePage

Governor

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