Politico, October 15, 2018
Dan Diamond and Brianna Ehley


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The Trump administration has tapped Mary Mayhew — the architect of Maine's aggressive conservative reforms to the social safety net — to oversee the national Medicaid program. She has been an ally of outgoing Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican who has fought as hard as any governor against expanding Medicaid under Obamacare.

CMS announced the move internally Monday, the day Mayhew began as the agency's deputy administrator and director of Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Mayhew served as Maine's health commissioner for six years under LePage, leading efforts to tighten the state's Medicaid eligibility standards, add work requirements to the food stamp program and implement other conservative reforms. She supported LePage as he rejected efforts to expand the state's Medicaid program — repeatedly vetoing legislation and then resisting after nearly 60 percent of Maine voters approved expansion on a ballot measure in 2017. LePage is spending his final months in office fighting a court order to expand the program.

Mayhew stepped down in May 2017 and ran to succeed LePage as governor, losing in the June Republican primary. As part of her campaign, Mayhew touted how safety-net programs had shrunk under her watch, pointing to a 70 percent decrease in enrollment in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program — one of the sharpest declines in the nation — and a 24 percent decrease in Medicaid enrollment. [...]

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