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Maine judge gives state until February to expand Medicaid

Medicaid form (MGN)

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- A Maine court says the state has until February to roll-out voter-approved Medicaid expansion.

Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy said Thursday that the state has until Feb. 1 to adopt rules implementing Medicaid expansion for eligible Mainers who applied starting July 2.

Outgoing Gov. Paul LePage appealed and requested a stay of Murphy's Nov. 21 decision laying out that deadline. Murphy on Thursday denied his request for a stay.

Democratic Attorney General and Gov.-elect Janet Mills says she'll immediately expand Medicaid once taking office in January.

Murphy has also ruled that Maine can use existing Medicaid funds for Maine's share of expansion costs.

Maine will still have to hire and train more than 100 staffers needed to handle new applicants under Medicaid expansion.

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