Bangor Daily News, January 16, 2013
Gov. Paul LePage unveiled a far-reaching plan Tuesday to repay the $186 million the state owes Maine hospitals for treating patients covered by Medicaid as part of a wider proposal to boost the economy. The plan includes borrowing against future liquor revenue to fund the hospital payments. The hospital payments from the state would trigger a $298 million match from the federal government. The state's current debt to hospitals has accumulated largely since 2009 as facilities continue to serve Medicaid patients without being fully reimbursed by the state. "We've gotten in a bad habit of having a very expansive and expensive health care system, but we use the hospitals to pay for it," LePage said Tuesday. "It doesn't work. There's a day of reckoning, and we're at that day."