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Collins: Medicaid Aid to States Should Be Offset With Cuts
07/19/2010 10:51 AM ET  

Congress's failure to act on an extension of Medicaid aid to states has left Maine with another $100 million budget hole.

As Maine struggles to cope with another looming budget shortfall, Maine Sen. Susan Collins says she won't support a once-expected extension of federal aid unless Congress finds a way to paid for it.

Gov. John Baldacci's budget included $85 million in federal Medicaid funds that Congress was expected to approve. But that approval is now in doubt.

"I do believe that this should be paid for," Collins says. "The Replicans have proposed several offsets, including using unobligated stimulus dollars, as well as cuts in other programs to offset the cost of this extension. Whether or not states were prudent in assuming that there was going to be this extension is a different question. I have consistently supported an extension of the increased Medicaid funding through June. I do believe that we should look at having a phase-out of the assistance."

Collins says she hopes Congress will act before it takes its August vacation. The lack of congressional action on the extra Medicaid aid has Gov. Baldacci seeking another "curtailment" of $100 million from the already-approved state budget.



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