Vital Signs newsletter: Health advocates oppose LePage budget

Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed budget brought health advocates and hospital lobbyists out in force this week to decry proposed cuts to their programs.

Hospital representatives lined up on Wednesday to tell legislators that the budget would undercut the state’s health care system and put hospitals deeper in debt. Two days earlier, health groups, doctors, and others opposed an initiative that would eliminate roughly $20 million for anti-smoking programs.

The LePage administration has said the budget changes would help to reduce costly unnecessary emergency department visits and continue funding higher Medicaid reimbursements for primary care providers.

Hospital executives call LePage’s health care reforms bad medicine for Maine

Health advocates: Axing community anti-smoking programs ‘like killing Peter to pay Paul’

Other top health stories this week:

Midwives once again pursue licensing, birth rights bill

In Maine, midwives are not required to be licensed by the state, which means they are limited in the medicines they can prescribe and access to routine medical procedures such as ultrasounds and blood screens. That may change within the next year.

From our bloggers

Jackie Farwell, Vital Signs

How the Obamacare Supreme Court ruling could affect Maine

The case will decide the fate of the health reform law’s financial subsidies, which help millions of individuals and families to afford coverage. In other words, Obamacare’s reason for being.

Kenneth Capron, A Journey Through Dementia

Introducing Journey through Dementia

The truth, according to most reputable sources, is that memory loss is not a natural consequence of aging.

From the source

Maine Medical Center has opened northern New England’s only pediatric gender clinic. Learn more right now on MPBN’s Maine Calling radio program.

Compiled by Bangor Daily News Health Editor Jackie Farwell

Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.