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Mary Mayhew spent her career attacking Medicaid in Maine — now, she’s poised to undermine Medicaid and access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide

WASHINGTON, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America released the below statement regarding the Trump-Pence administration’s appointment of Mary Mayhew to serve as the director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Mayhew has a record of blocking up to 80,000 Mainers from accessing Medicaid, imposing enrollment restrictions on Medicaid, implementing work requirements for food stamp assistance, and supporting efforts to block access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers. 

Mayhew was most recently the head of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services under Gov. Paul LePage, who strongly opposed expanding the state’s Medicaid program, even after voters approved the expansion. Her tenure with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services was marked by mismanagement of over $13 million in federal funds.

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

It’s reckless to choose someone who has spent her career attacking Medicaid to run the program. This is like putting a fox in charge of guarding the hen house. Mary Mayhew made her mark preventing people from enrolling in Medicaid and mismanaging her department. Mayhew is a danger to millions of people who rely on Medicaid across the country. Women make up the majority of people who rely on Medicaid for all of their essential health care needs, including family planning, pregnancy care, and well-woman exams. Putting Mayhew in charge of Medicaid will no doubt mean that people’s health will suffer.

Mayhew’s appointment is the latest in a series of directives, appointments, and executive orders from the Trump-Pence administration designed to undermine people’s health and rights.

Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services already tried to make it easier for states to block access to care at Planned Parenthood. Now, states like Texas are requesting approval to block their citizens access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers — requests that Mayhew could play a role in approving. After Texas barred Planned Parenthood from providing care through the Healthy Texas Women (HTW) program in 2011, there was a sharp decline in access to women’s health services resulting in at least 30,000 fewer women (and as many as 44,890 fewer women) accessing health care services through their program. 

Medicaid is a critical source of health coverage for women. In fact, about one in five women of reproductive age rely on Medicaid for their health care, and women account for over half of all adult Medicaid enrollees. Medicaid covers more women’s health services than any other payer. Medicaid is the largest payer of reproductive health care coverage, paying for nearly half of all births in the United States and 75 percent of family planning services.

More on Mary Mayhew’s record on cutting access to health in Maine:

  • Portland Press Herald: “Greg Kesich: Now we know – Maine’s Medicaid savings came at a terrible price” (March 28, 2018)
    • “Mayhew designed the cuts to Medicaid and she opposed Medicaid expansion, which was passed five times by the Legislature but could not overcome LePage’s veto. She is still against expansion, which was approved by voters last year in a referendum, drawing nearly 60 percent of the vote. And she travels the country to convince other states not to expand their programs.”
  • Bangor Daily News: “Where Republicans who want to succeed LePage stand on key issues” (February 26, 2018)
    • “Mary Mayhew: ‘As governor, I will support legislation that protects the lives of the unborn. I will support parental consent, I will support laws that ban late-term abortions, I will support waiting periods, I am opposed to public-financing of abortions, and I am also proud to say I implemented a policy that stopped the use of tax dollars for abortions by Planned Parenthood.’”
  • Sun Journal: “Mary Mayhew asks Trump administration for more MaineCare cuts” (January 26, 2017)
    • “On the same day that advocates for expanding Medicaid coverage delivered more than 67,000 signatures to secure a public referendum on the issue, the state asked the new administration in Washington to let it scale back the federal health care program for the poor…[Mary Mayhew] said Thursday that ramping up the program’s numbers would create ‘a sea of red ink’ and wind up crippling efforts to provide better service for the elderly and people whose disabilities make it impossible for them to work.”
  • Portland Press Herald: “Feds approve LePage cuts to health care for low-income Mainers” (January 8, 2013)
    • “More than 20,000 low-income Mainers will lose health care coverage on March 1 because of Medicaid cuts sought by Gov. Paul LePage and approved this week by the federal government. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a split decision on the LePage administration’s plan to eliminate health insurance for about 37,000 Medicaid recipients and save more than $20 million in state spending.”


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.