AUGUSTA — Maine lawmakers are discussing a decision by Republican Gov. Paul LePage administration’s to hire an outside consultant to review Maine’s Medicaid program.

The Health and Human Services committee will consider the nearly $1 million contract for the Alexander Group among other issues involving the state’s health department Tuesday.

Gary Alexander’s group was hired to address the financial issues in Maine’s Medicaid program and study whether the state has the capacity to expand Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul. Democrats say Alexander’s contentious welfare-cutting policies in other states have hurt low-income people.

The committee will also discuss a program that provides rides to Medicaid patients to appointments that has been troubled since switching to a new system in August and a psychiatric hospital that recently lost $20 million in funding.

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