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Hospitals take on building projects despite MaineCare debt

Bangor Daily News, April 2, 2013

As drivers pass through Augusta on Interstate 95, Maine's newest hospital comes into view just off Exit 113. Four stories of brick and gleaming glass now stand in what was once a grassy field, a $322 million project just months away from opening to patients as the Alfond Center for Health. Just a few miles away, lawmakers continue a heated debate about how to repay Maine's hospitals $484 million in overdue Medicaid bills dating to 2009. Hospitals have stressed the debt's consequences — from layoffs to frozen wages to eliminated services — in pressing legislators to make good on the state's long-standing IOU.