Things You Need to Know: Mainers to Consider Medicaid Expansion This Fall
Here are the things you need to know today......
From the Associated Press:
Maine voters are set to consider expanding Medicaid in their state as congressional reform efforts fail.Former President Barack Obama's health care law allowed states to expand Medicaid coverage and receive enhanced federal funding that the House and Senate Republican bills would have curtailed. A question on the Nov. 7 ballot would expand Medicaid for adults under 65 — for a single person who earns below $16,000 and for a family of two less than $22,000. Liberal groups and health care providers say that roughly 70,000 low-income Mainers could access health care including drug treatment as overdose deaths rise.
Opponents like Republican Gov. Paul LePage say the $54 million price tag for Maine is too conservative. He has asked federal regulators for permission to create work requirements for Medicaid recipients.Maine Gov. Paul LePage isn't allowing signs to be placed on highways leading to the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. But at least there's now a map. The Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument has created a new topographical map that identifies key features, like the loop road. It's available for free.
Folks rooting for a snowy winter are going to like the forecast from the Farmers' Almanac, in the Northeast, at least. The Maine-based almanac that goes on sale this week is predicting a snowy winter from Maryland to Maine with five coastal storms to bring misery to the region. The publication, now in its 200th year, predicts cold weather for central regions, wet weather for the southeastern states, and dry weather for the nation's western third.
The state is holding a series of public forums on the upcoming deregulation of basic landline telephone services in Maine. A 2016 law says FairPoint Communications no longer has to provide universal landline access regardless of profitability in Maine's 22 most populated towns. The law is being rolled out in phases, and FairPoint has now asked regulators for permission to stop providing price-controlled landline service to those who ask in Bath, Yarmouth, Old Orchard Beach, Westbrook and Freeport. Public meetings in each town are set to kick off in September and October. The 2016 law said the company must continue providing such services to current customers for another year. The law still covers more than 100 other communities where FairPoint is the provider of last resort.
The deadline to apply for Maine's expanded deer hunt is fast approaching. The state gives out "any deer" permits to lottery winners every year. This year, Maine is giving out more than 66,000 of the permits, up from less than 46,000 last year. The deadline to apply for the lottery is Tuesday.
Police in Lewiston are urging residents to be cautious after a fox bit two people. The first incident happened Thursday night when a fox bit a woman on the arm as she tried to protect her dog from the wild animal. A man was bitten Friday.
The woman who was killed when a car plowed into peaceful protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, was remembered at a vigil Sunday night. A close friend says Heather Heyer cared about people and stood up for equality. Marissa Blair calls Heyer's death "an act of terror." She says the driver of the car "deserves everything he gets and more."
The Associated Press joined international researchers on a month-long, 10,000 kilometer (6,200-mile) journey to document the impact of climate change on the forbidding ice and frigid waters of the Arctic. Dramatic melting of sea ice already is affecting the lives of humans, polar bears and other animals. Experts predict ice loss will be felt across the northern hemisphere, altering ocean currents and causing freak weather as far south as Florida or France.
The Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the world, as scientists expected. While global leaders set a goal of preventing 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) of man-made warming since pre-industrial times for the planet, the Arctic has already hit that dangerous mark. Scientists are concerned because a warming Arctic has consequences elsewhere.
More than half a million Syrian refugee children of school age _ or one-third of the total _ are not enrolled in school or informal education in host countries Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq. They should all have been enrolled by now, under a "no lost generation" pledge made 18 months ago by donor countries and international organizations at a Syria aid conference in London. Aid agencies say large funding gaps hamper their work, even if some progress has been made.
Saudi Arabia's new crown prince hopes to transform the kingdom and modernize society, but the planned execution of 14 Shiite protesters charged with violence against security forces suggests the kingdom's handling of sectarian tensions and unrest remains unchanged. The country's supreme court recently upheld the death penalty in the case, raising concerns among rights activists that the group could be executed at any moment.