May 11, 2013

Gov. LePage returns to Maine hospital debt theme

Gov. Paul LePage uses his weekly radio address to call on Maine lawmakers to pay the hospitals a $484 million debt for unpaid Medicaid services.

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage is returning to a familiar theme as he calls on Maine lawmakers to pay the hospitals a $484 million debt for unpaid Medicaid services.

In his weekly radio address, the governor says it's been more than 115 days since he put his plan on the table to pay the hospitals. But nearly four months later, he says the hospitals are still waiting to be paid.

The governor is dangling a carrot in front of lawmakers, especially Democrats, who are pushing for the state to issue voter-authorized bonds. LePage says that once the hospitals are paid, he'll release the series of public improvement bonds.

In the Democratic response, Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall of Richmond makes a pitch for a bill to close the so-called skills gap.

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