With a slew of Democrats being elected Tuesday, the tables are turning against Republican President Donald Trump. Possibly one of the most important results from Tuesday’s election wasn’t about Republican versus Democrat, but about sending a message to Trump and his fellow Republicans concerning the future of the Affordable Care Act and health coverage in America.
Residents of the state of Maine voted Tuesday on a little-publicized ballot initiative referred to as Question 2. The question was a simple one: Should Maine finally take advantage of the part of the ACA that allows states to expand Medicaid for anyone who makes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level? (That currently comes out to be $16,642 for an individual or $33,948 for a family of four.)
Around 10:30 pm on Tuesday night, with 70% of the state’s districts reporting, the votes were 41% against, 59% for expanding Medicaid. The bill will take effect 30 days after the Maine’s governor, Republican Paul LePage, certifies the vote as accurate.
Michael Parent, left, gets instructions on submitting his ballots from warden Denise Shames while voting Tuesday, Nov.7, 2017, in Portland, Maine. Voters in Maine will decide if they want to join 31 other states and expand Medicaid under former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It’s the first time since the law took effect that the expansion question has been put before voters (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)[/caption]
Jennie Pirkl, the campaign manager for the Yes on 2 campaign was pleased with the results, saying, “Maine has shown the way for the rest of the country. Voters have sent a clear message to Augusta, Washington and the rest of the country that we want more health care, not less.”
But is this a message that President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans want to hear?
President Trump and Congressional Republicans have tried numerous times to repeal and replace Obamacare in the last year. Luckily for the American people, they continue to fail. Hopefully, with Maine’s Medicaid expansion vote, Republican leaders will finally see that it is the will of the people to have affordable and accessible health insurance.