Maine’s New Governor Wants to Guard Against GOP Efforts to Wipe Out Obamacare ( rewire.news )

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) kicked off her term with a vow to protect health care in a state that faced myriad setbacks under former Republican governor Paul LePage, who ignored a voter-approved law to expand Medicaid access and didn’t fight back against the Trump administration’s undermining of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare.

The first bill introduced this year by Maine Democrats fights back against the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken the ACA, which has raised costs. The Maine legislation was filed in response to a ruling by Judge Reed O’Connor, who in December declared the health-care reform law unconstitutional.

Introduced by new Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Allagash) in response to the O’Connor ruling, the bill aims to strengthens patient protections in health-care plans offered in Maine, including coverage for pre-existing conditions. It would allow adults up to age 26 to be covered by their parents’ insurance and limit what premiums seniors can be charged, so Mainers are protected no matter what happens to the federal health-care law.

LD 1 was introduced on January 2 and remains in committee. LePage vetoed a similar bill last year.

“I refuse to stand idly by as forces in Washington and elsewhere work to strip Maine people of critical coverage for pre-existing conditions and other essential health benefits like mental health and maternity and newborn care,” Mills said in a statement. “Maine can do more to strengthen its laws and align them with the protections guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act.

“Health care is a basic human right,” Jackson said in a statement. “With health care increasingly under attack, it’s our job as state lawmakers to do everything in our power to protect the health and well-being