Maine GOP Chair Statement on Decision to Give States More Flexibility with Administering Medicaid

For Immediate Release: January 11, 2018

AUGUSTA—Today, Maine Republican Party Chair Dr. Demi Kouzounas made the following statement after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new guidance to allow states to implement work requirements for able-bodied adults to receive Medicaid benefits: 

“Once again, Maine has led as Governor LePage’s reforms requiring work for welfare have now become national policy. I am so pleased Washington is actually doing something right here, adopting the vision of our Governor.

This popular, common sense, and long overdue decision is a great one. Unlike the federal government, states have to balance their budgets, and the last thing we should be doing is providing costly welfare benefits to those who are able to work but choose not to. This will allow states to better target their limited resources toward those in true need.

Beyond budget and economic concerns, however, it is a simple truth that work strengthens individuals, families, communities, states, and nations. Work should be promoted on all fronts whenever possible. 

We are generous here in Maine, and encouraging a strong work ethic is one of the greatest gifts we’ve always given our people, and we always should. There are plenty of jobs available in Maine right now, and if some of our able-bodied won’t take them, who will? It is tragic this policy was not put in place years ago.

As Congressman Poliquin said today, the goal of welfare should not be to make people helpless and dependent, but rather “to give individuals the opportunities they need to succeed and become self-supporting and independent.”

While there have been many positive developments lately, including a booming economy and tax cuts for working families and small businesses, today’s reform belongs near the top of the list.”

To read Governor LePage’s statement on CMS’ decision, click here.

To read Congressman Poliquin’s statement on CMS’ decision, click here.


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