Even before Maine lawmakers begin their review of Medicaid cuts that could leave 65,000 people without coverage, rhetoric is heating up over Gov. Paul LePage's plan aimed at avoiding a $220 million budget shortfall.
The Republican governor on Monday said the state faces a fiscal crisis due to unsustainable costs of Medicaid, but that Democrats deny the numbers, skew facts and ignore the problem.
LePage's statement follows a weekend exchange over the same issue, and comes in advance of four days of detailed review of the proposed cuts by the Appropriations Committee. On Tuesday, the committee hears from Commissioner Mary Mayhew and three days of public hearings.
Democrats say the cuts need to be reviewed in depth so their impact is fully understood.