AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A bill that would expand health care coverage to 70,000 Maine residents but cut off the state's participation in the program after three years is headed to Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
The Democratic-led Senate approved a bill to expand Medicaid on a 23-12 vote Thursday. Medicaid is administered as MaineCare in the state.
LePage has vetoed a more sweeping bill calling for Medicaid expansion even though it included a provision to repay the state's hospitals past debts for unpaid Medicaid services, one of his top priorities.
The bill would repeal the expansion Dec. 31, 2016. People would see larger co-payments to discourage abuse of the program.
The federal health care overhaul allows states to expand Medicaid coverage to adults making up to 133 percent of the poverty level. The government says 145,000 non-elderly Maine residents are uninsured.
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