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Former Maine DHHS commissioner Mary Mayhew to lead federal Medicaid program

Mayhew will oversee the federal program as waivers for work requirements reduce the number of beneficiaries.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Mary Mayhew, the former commissioner of Maine's Department of Health and Human Services, has been tapped by the Trump Administration to lead the federal Medicaid and CHIP program, according to several reports, including one in the Portland Press Herald.

Mayhew will be deputy administrator and director of Medicaid and CHIP.

WHY THIS MATTERS

There's a battle over Medicaid as Kentucky, Arkansas, Indiana and New Hampshire became the first states to receive federal waivers to mandate work or community service requirements as a condition of receiving Medicaid benefits. Other states have submitted waiver requests.

Opponents have said that the work requirements will reduce the number of people who get health coverage under Medicaid, which in turn will increase hospital expenses for uncompensated care and emergency department visits.

In Arkansas, close to 8,500 people have lost their Medicaid coverage over the past two months under the new work requirements,  according to numbers released by The Hill. This month, 4,109 Medicaid members were removed from the program and 4,353 were taken off the rolls last month.

Opponents have sued the Trump Administration over the Medicaid work requirements.

THE TREND

Mayhew is a conservative who, under Maine Governor Paul LePage,  oversaw major changes to Maine's public assistance programs, including MaineCare, its Medicaid program, according to the Press Herald report.  

She opposed the expansion of Medicaid in Maine. LePage has fought a court order to expand Medicaid, saying the state does not have the financial means to pay for it. Voters in 2017 approved a ballot measure to expand Medicaid in the state.  

Mayhew ran for governor this year in the Republican primary for LePage's seat, losing to candidate Shawn Moody

She is a former lobbyist for hospitals.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com

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