AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage says scheduled reductions to the national food stamps program prove the state can’t rely on the federal government to pay for a Medicaid expansion.

The Republican governor released a statement Tuesday regarding reductions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, expected to kick in Nov. 1. The program was temporarily increased under the federal stimulus package.

LePage says the federal government continues to reduce its share of Medicaid payments. He says there’s no evidence it “will keep its promise of ‘free’ welfare expansion.”

Democrats counter that the federal government hasn’t missed a Medicaid or Medicare payment in decades. House Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick says LePage has made one excuse after another to deny health care to tens of thousands of Mainers.