Advocates for Maine’s poor say Florida’s new health care chief slashed needed help

Advocates for the needy say Governor-elect Ron DeSantis’s pick to lead the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration is a hardline conservative who fought expanding Medicaid for people who are too poor to afford a doctor and slashed food assistance and other safety-net programs while serving in Maine.

Mary Mayhew is coming to Florida from a short stint in the Trump administration, where she served just three months as Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Before that, she worked as a hospital association lobbyist, as Maine’s Commissioner of Health and Human Services (2011-2017), and was a Republican candidate for Maine governor who lost in last fall’s primary election. (Mayhew finished third among four Republican primary candidates: a Democrat took the Governor’s Mansion).

The DeSantis transition team says Mayhew was awarded the Freedom & Opportunity Award from the Maine Heritage Policy Center and the Economic Freedom Award from Americans for Prosperity (a Koch Industries group) for her accomplishments. Both groups are associated with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a right-wing, corporate-funded national group which writes and pushes legislation for state lawmakers.

– Florida Phoenix

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