NFIB Maine Survey Shows Strong Opposition to Medicaid Expansion

Date: March 10, 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact:  David Clough, 207-807-4900


Small Business Survey Shows Strong Opposition to Medicaid Expansion

NFIB members don’t support the expansion and most believe it would lead to higher taxes


Augusta (March 10, 2014) – A new survey of small business owners in Maine shows overwhelming opposition to the latest proposal to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act and more than 8 in 10 believe it would lead to higher state taxes in the future.


“This is a very one-sided response and it shows that small business owners don’t believe that Medicaid Expansion will be a good deal for Maine,” said Director David Clough, Maine State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).


NFIB surveyed its members last week on whether Maine should expand its Medicaid program to cover people at 133 percent of the official poverty level.  Only 10 percent of respondents support the measure while more than 88 percent opposed.   


“Our members don’t believe in expanding entitlement programs that are already causing budget problems,” said Clough.  The federal promise of paying 100 percent for the first three years is an enticement for trouble every year afterward, when the state has to pick up 10 percent of the cost.  “Free now but pay later is a formula for trouble,” said Clough.


Eighty seven percent (87%) oppose expansion even with a sunset provision that would automatically repeal the law in three years unless it is reauthorized by the Legislature.  Some of the members commented the sunset was meaningless because politicians would not let 60,000 to 70,000 people lose this Medicaid benefit once it becomes law.  Also, 93 percent of small business owners believe that expansion will lead to higher state taxes within five years.


“Our members are educated by experience,” said Clough.  “It’s hard to think of a federal entitlement program that hasn’t exceed the original cost projections.  Small business owners aren’t buying the argument that increasing Medicaid enrollment to nearly 390,000 will somehow improve Maine’s long-term fiscal condition.”


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