Augusta — The federal government confirmed once again in a letter to the LePage administration that tens of thousands of Mainers would have access to health care at no cost to the state under the Affordable Care Act for the next three years.

 It states that the LePage administration request for a 10 year guarantee of coverage is not an option under the law, and further reiterates its commitment to pay 100 percent match for the first three years of expanded health care coverage and an average match of 94.2 percent match in the years following.

 “This letter is further confirmation that Maine should take the deal,” said Speaker Eves of North Berwick. “We have a definitive offer. This is the best deal. We must accept these federal health care dollars to cover the cost of health care for tens of thousands of Maine people now.”

 The letter sent to the LePage administration dated May 24 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services again confirmed that Maine would receive full funding from the federal government for 55,000 childless adults for three years if it expands its Medicaid program to this population. Nearly 10,500 Mainers in this population will lose coverage in January if the state does not accept federal funds.

 “Lives are on the line, now is the time to act,” said Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland. “We have received assurance after assurance from the feds. You can’t get much better than 100 percent. It is misleading for the LePage administration to say we can get a better deal. No better deal exists. We should take the feds’ offer and take it now.”   

 The letter is the latest in a series of letters confirming this information to the administration. Since the state does not cover audiology services for childless adults, the state will qualify for the federal funds at 100 percent. It offers an “unprecedented match set by law” that ensures significant savings for the state over a ten year period and can not be changed by “regulation or waiver.”

 As expected, the 100 percent match rate does not apply to Maine parents who are already covered in the state budget with a federal match rate of 62 percent. These parents are covered with no additional costs in the state budget. They are not included in the expansion.

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