AUGUSTA — The Maine House has given initial approval to a bill to restore cuts to the Drugs for the Elderly program and the Medicare Savings Plan. Funding was cut last year.

The bill passed Thursday in a largely party-line vote of 93-55 in the Democratic-majority House. It would restore about $7 million in funding cuts over the next two years. The Drugs for the Elderly program and the Medicare Savings Plan serve more than 35,000 seniors and people with disabilities by paying for medications and co-pays to doctors.

Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick said seniors and people with disabilities should not have to choose between paying for medicine and paying for food or gas.
Republicans say Democrats voted to spend money Maine doesn’t have.