Legislative hearings begin on proposed Medicaid cuts

Posted Dec. 13, 2011, at 5:23 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Legislature’s budget-reviewing committee begins four days of review of proposed changes in Medicaid that could leave tens of thousands of Mainers without coverage.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew on Tuesday will explain the cuts and answer questions from the Appropriations Committee.

Gov. Paul LePage has proposed eliminating coverage for some categories for which benefits are not mandated by the federal government, such as childless adults. He would also eliminate optional services like occupational and physical therapy and lower reimbursements for independent providers of elderly and mental health care. The cuts are to forestall a $220 million budget shortfall.

Tuesday’s presentation will be followed by three days of public hearings on the cuts, which have drawn negative reactions from Democrats and groups representing children, the elderly and consumers.

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