January 16

Maine House votes to override LePage's tobacco-cessation veto

The bill provides insurance coverage of costs for tobacco-cessation treatment for Medicaid program members.

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Maine lawmakers have voted to override Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill aimed at helping Mainers get treatment to quit smoking.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 131-10 in support of the bill that provides insurance coverage of costs for tobacco-cessation treatment for Medicaid program members.

In his veto letter, Republican Gov. Paul LePage said the bill eliminates cost sharing and co-pays for Medicaid, or MaineCare, members, which he says is an “essential component of maintaining fiscal responsibility” in the program.

Supporters say more than 40 percent of people in the Medicaid program smoke and that the bill will save taxpayer dollars as fewer people will need treatment for tobacco-related illnesses.

The Senate will now consider the measure.

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