Quick Takes: A Medicaid Crisis is Brewing in Maine

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* One of the most significant results from yesterday’s election is that the state of Maine passed a referendum to expand Medicaid by a vote of 59-41. But their wacky governor issued a statement that basically says he’s not interested in what the voters had to say.

Credit agencies are predicting that this fiscally irresponsible Medicaid expansion will be ruinous to Maine’s budget. Therefore, my administration will not implement Medicaid expansion until it has been fully funded by the Legislature at the levels DHHS has calculated, and I will not support increasing taxes on Maine families, raiding the rainy day fund or reducing services to our elderly or disabled.

That is pretty much guaranteed to ignite a significant crisis in the state of Maine.

* Yesterday’s election results included a lot of historic wins and E.A. Crunden documents 10 of them. I’ll assume a point of personal privilege to note that there were two in the Twin Cities. Andrea Jenkins became the first openly gay trans woman elected to the city council of a major city (Minneapolis) and Melvin Carter III was elected to be the first African American mayor of St. Paul.

* One final note on the election yesterday. There were several results like this that offered a repudiation of hate and ignorance:

* Senate Democrats have come out swinging on common sense gun control.

Senate Democrats are moving to ban assault weapons and a device that allows semi-automatic weapons to simulate automatic fire in the wake of mass shootings in Las Vegas and Texas.

Roughly two dozen Democrats, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), introduced legislation on Wednesday that would ban assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and bump stocks, devices that can be used to make semi-automatic rifles fire faster.

“We’re introducing an updated Assault Weapons Ban for one reason: so that after every mass shooting with a military-style assault weapon, the American people will know that a tool to reduce these massacres is sitting in the Senate, ready for debate and a vote,” Feinstein said in a statement.

* We could either do things like that, or continue to see outrageous measures like this:

A Miami private school is offering parents an unusual item for sale: bulletproof panels for their kids’ backpacks.

The Florida Christian School website has a list of items available for purchase. These include winter wear, red school logo T-shirts and ballistic panels.

George Gulla, dean of students and head of school security at Florida Christian School, told CNN the bulletproof panels would add “another level of protection” to students of the pre-K through grade 12 school “in the event of an active shooter.”

* This was one of my favorite stories today:

Lin-Manuel Miranda will return to the role of Alexander Hamilton when his Hamilton musical opens a three-week run in Puerto Rico in January 2019.

Miranda, who left the title role in his Tony-winning Broadway musical in July 2016, will bring Hamilton to Teatro UPR in hurricane-ravaged San Juan from January 8th to January 27th.

“Bringing Hamilton: An American Musical to Puerto Rico is a dream that I’ve had since we first opened at The Public Theater in 2015,” Miranda said in a statement.

“When I last visited the island, a few weeks before Hurricane Maria, I had made a commitment to not only bring the show to Puerto Rico, but also return again to the title role. In the aftermath of Maria, we decided to expedite the announcement of the project to send a bold message that Puerto Rico will recover and be back in business, stronger than ever.”

* In honor of that announcement, here is Miranda with some of the Hamilton cast performing at the White House when that other guy lived there. This particular song also goes out to all of the courageous first-time candidates that stepped up to take their shot in yesterday’s elections.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.