Vital Signs: Health cuts in LePage budget decried

Maine’s health community still digesting the budget proposal Gov. Paul LePage just unveiled, but the outcries have begun. The governor’s plan would slash funding for methadone treatment and anti-smoking programs, reduce the ranks of public health staff, and allow cities and towns to collect taxes on nonprofit property, prompting one hospital lobbyist to label the provision a “sick tax.”

At the same time, the proposal supports reimbursement rates for primary care providers, better coordinating treatment for costly Medicaid patients, and services for the disabled and mentally ill.

Our coverage continues, but here’s the roundup of health-related budget stories this week.

LePage budget cuts methadone funds in effort to transition recovering opiate addicts to Suboxone

Public health group slams LePage budget cuts to tobacco program, Maine CDC staffing

Hospitals lobbyist says LePage budget provision is a ‘sick tax’ in disguise


Other top health stories this week:

Decades-long Franklin County health initiative praised in national medical journal

The community-based health care model — The Franklin Model — is the subject of what is being called a tremendously important Journal of the American Medical Association study.

Danforth man invents swim fins for himself, other amputees

There was one place Randy Lord did not see fellow amputees too often, and that was swimming in the ocean.


From our bloggers

Jim LaPierre, Recovery Rocks

One Woman’s Journey Out of Food Addiction

“I sometimes grabbed a handful of something and hid in my tent fort or favorite spot in the woods behind our house. I hid because I didn’t want to be told ‘no.’ No more food? No more best friend?”

Diane Atwood, Catching Health

You’re Never Too Old to Quit Smoking

The older you are the more likely you’ve been smoking for years — decades even — which means you’re more likely to have at least one smoking-related health problem.


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.