The gain of 70 million Medicaid recipients nationwide is actually Florida’s loss. That’s because after less than three months on the job, Trump administration Medicaid director Mary Mayhew is leaving to take a position in FL Governor-elect Ron DeSantis’ administration.
Mayhew, who before joining the Trump administration in October was known for attacking Medicaid expansion and welfare programs in Maine, will lead the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, which oversees the Medicaid program there. Good luck, Floridians.
Before unsuccessfully running for governor in Maine in 2018, Mayhew served as commissioner of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services under former Republican Gov. Paul LePage. LePage long fought to block Medicaid expansion in the state, even after voters passed a referendum to do so over a year ago.
This week, Maine’s new Democratic governor, Janet Mills, signed an executive order to enact Medicaid expansion.
Per the Portland Press Herald:
Mayhew is best known for her seven years as commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services under Gov. Paul LePage. During her tenure, she oversaw major changes to nearly all of Maine’s public assistance programs, including food stamps and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Mayhew also played a major role in eliminating nearly 70,000 people from the state’s Medicaid program and, like LePage, she was an ardent opponent of expanding Medicaid, which was made allowable at the state level under the Affordable Care Act.
According to the Miami Herald, Mayhew is the third Trump administration official to take a job in DeSantis’ incoming administration in Florida, which takes over on Tuesday.
During her tenure at Maine’s DHHS, Mayhew also was criticized for a “slow and weak response” to the opioid crisis.
Democratic State Rep. Drew Gattine told the Press Herald that the damage caused to Maine’s social services under Mayhew would take years to rebuild.
“I think she is someone who was antagonistic toward Medicaid, so she fits into a long line of Trump appointees who are antagonistic about the programs they are asked to oversee,” he told the newspaper last October.
Coincidentally, LePage also has said he’s moving to Florida to retire.