Category Archives: health policy

Addiction experts decry LePage plan to cut methadone funds

Gov. Paul LePage explains his biennial budget proposal to reporters on Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, at the State House in Augusta. Chris Cousins | BDN

A group of local and national substance abuse experts spoke out Tuesday against Gov. Paul LePage’s plan to eliminate state funding for methadone treatment. LePage’s budget would transition opiate addicts seeking treatment from methadone clinics to Suboxone, a prescribed medication that patients must acquire from their doctors. Both Suboxone — a combination of two medications called buprenorphine […]

Mainers hit with Obamacare penalty granted more time to get insured

A man looks over the HealthCare.gov website. REUTERS|Mike Segar

Maine residents facing tax penalties for going without health insurance now have an extra opportunity to avoid getting fined next tax season. The federal government announced Friday a special sign-up period for individuals and families who lacked coverage in 2014 and didn’t realize the Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay […]

Maine bill would allow drug users’ friends to administer overdose antidote

Narcan restores breathing after an opiate overdose. David Harry | The Forecaster

A medication that halts an opiate overdose in its tracks is in the hands of many Maine first responders, thanks to legislation passed last year. Now, a Waterville lawmaker wants to expand access to the life-saving drug, called naloxone hydrochloride, even further. Naloxone — known under the brand name Narcan — is a prescription medication that blocks opioid receptors […]

Maine drops to 20th in healthiest state ranking

stethoscope

Maine fell from 16th to 20th in an annual national health ranking, dragged down by poverty and low vaccination rates among children, among other factors. The state’s finish marks its worst since the nonprofit United Health Foundation launched its “America’s Health Rankings” in 1990. Nearly 21 percent of Maine children live in poverty, a rate that remains largely unchanged […]