Gov. LePage defends Medicaid cuts at Capitol for a Day event

Posted Dec. 15, 2011, at 12:01 p.m.

SALEM TOWNSHIP, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has defended his efforts to close Maine’s budget gap by cutting $221 million in Medicaid funding.

The Republican told about 100 people Wednesday in Salem Township that there is not enough money to pay for the program’s benefits.

The visit was part of LePage’s Capitol for a Day tour around the state.

LePage is proposing closing the gap by ending Medicaid coverage for 65,000 Mainers, including the poor, elderly and children.

The governor — in response to questions from the audience — acknowledged that rooting out welfare fraud could help close the gap.

LePage also expressed frustration with the recent Forbes Magazine’s review of the 50 states that rated Maine last for being business-friendly.

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