AUGUSTA, Maine — Last week Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill to pave the way for Maine to cover its $183.5 million tab to 39 hospitals for services provided over the years to patients enrolled in the state's Medicaid program. Once paid, the federal government will kick in $300 million. Now that the state plans to pay back its longstanding MaineCare debt to hospitals, how will the institutions spend the money? The shortlist includes capital investment projects, bolstering finances and covering operating costs, according to hospital spokespeople. The debt payments, however, will not lead to changes in rates for patients with private insurance.