Everyone knows that health care costs are a major component of the federal budget, but they also have important implications for state budgets, so Mainers will likely be interested to learn that the Affordable Care Act signed into law earlier this year will save their state money.
Mal Leary of the Bangor Daily News explains:
A state analysis of the impact of the new federal health reform law indicates it will cost Maine in the near term, but will save the state tens of millions of dollars a year after it is fully implemented in 2014.
“This is a far-reaching projection and it assumes what we know today,” Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Brenda Harvey said. “There are also some policy decisions that will need to be made that will impact these estimates.” [...]
[Governor’s Office on Health Policy Director Trish] Riley stressed that the state analysis uses conservative assumptions, and that the state could realize significantly larger savings based on other estimates.
Igor Volsky wonders if this will come as a blow to Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, neither of whom voted for the ACA despite high hopes from the White House that they could be persuaded. My larger point on this would be that these kind of facts are going to be hurdles to the ongoing conservative repeal campaign. Faced with a large and complicated piece of legislation, it’s easy to seize on some aspect or another as the reason to vote no. But it’s much harder to say yes to a repeal movement that would leave a hole in your state’s budget.