March 16, 2013

LePage chides Democrats on Maine hospital debt

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Democrats and Republican Gov. Paul LePage moved closer this week toward an agreement on paying Maine's $484 million Medicaid debt to hospitals.

But in his weekly radio address, LePage insists his plan is better, because it's simpler. The governor says the Democrats' plan is difficult to understand, full of legal jargon, budget gimmicks and empty promises.

He would use a revenue bond of $186 million and federal matching funds of $298 million to pay off the debt. The bond would be paid with liquor revenues.

In the Democratic response, Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland says the issue is not just about debt, it's also about high health care costs. Alfond says the state should accept the federal dollars provided by the Affordable Care Act for Medicaid expansion.

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