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Gov. LePage says he'd risk jail before Medicaid puts Maine in red

Gov. LePage (WGME)

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Maine's governor says if a court tells him he must expand Medicaid without budgeted state funding, he'd go to jail before putting Maine in "red ink."

Gov. Paul LePage made the remark Tuesday during a call-in on WVOM-FM.

Nearly three out of five voters last fall voted to expand Medicaid to 80,000 Mainers by July 2.

The Republican governor is fighting a court order requiring him to submit paperwork for Maine to receive federal funding. He successfully vetoed a bill to fund Maine's expansion costs with surplus and tobacco settlement funds.

LePage said Tuesday the Legislature has spoken by not funding Medicaid expansion. Advocates say Maine has enough money to cover costs for a year.

LePage said lawmakers can't fund expansion with new taxes. He's now suggesting hospital taxes could cover expansion.

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