Letter: On Medicaid votes and flawed ballot box law


I am compelled to respond to the blatantly incorrect portrayal of the support in Maine for Medicaid expansion expressed by the LeRoux cartoon in the Nov. 16 edition of the American Journal and the Nov. 17 Lakes Region Weekly with the headline: “Even though 60% of Mainers voted for Medicaid expansion.”

In fact, only 15 percent of Maine’s population voted for Medicaid expansion. If one wants to count only the registered voters, then it could be expanded to 20 percent (of registered voters). The progressive big spenders like to talk about the “will of the people” but in reality low voter participation in this election (33 percent) means that while 59 percent percent of those who voted may have wanted Medicaid expansion, there are still a host of people (1 million) who stayed home (sad, I know), counting on their elected representatives and governor to make sure that laws are well-written, constitutional and safeguard all citizens. This new law will be a huge disappointment when some are forced into this welfare program that was not designed to serve those able to work and which eliminates their ability to keep their subsidized insurance on the Exchange.

This is why ballot-box law (referenda) is so incredibly flawed. Those who do vote make up their minds by exposure to slick, expensive advertising and promises. There are no legal reviews, public hearings, oversight and no person to be held accountable when it turns out the law is bad. That is why our Constitution was set up as a representative republic: 100 percent of the population is represented by two bodies of lawmakers and an executive branch. If those people mess up, they are accountable in the next election.

Doris Meehan