Maine gov renews call for hospital debt vote

Maine governor renews call for up-or-down vote on hospital debt proposal

Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Maine Gov. Paul LePage is calling on legislative leadership to allow a vote on his plan to repay a $484 million debt to the state's hospitals.

LePage issued a statement Monday while attending a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event in Washington, urging a "simple up-or-down vote" on his plan.

Democratic leaders told LePage they want to tie the debt repayment to an expansion of Medicaid through the national Affordable Care Act to at least 55,000 people. LePage has viewed Medicaid expansion and repaying the hospitals as separate issues.

House Speaker Mark Eves said Monday that it's important to approach health care in a comprehensive way that repays debt, reduces costs and expands coverage.

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