AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s administration says the growth of the state’s Medicaid program is already crowding out funding in environmental departments for things like oil spill clean-up response.
The Republican governor’s administration held a press conference Wednesday to reiterate its opposition to expanding Medicaid under the federal health care law as a legislative committee began examining a measure that would do just that, and implement other significant changes to the program, as well.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Protection said $1 million was cut over the last decade for an oil spill clean-up fund to fill budget holes caused by Medicaid growth. Democrats countered that the state’s budget problems can be attributed to a $400 million tax cut LePage approved in 2011.