House backs bill to block MaineCare rides renewal

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine's Democratic-controlled House has approved a bill to prevent the state from renewing its contracts in a troubled MaineCare rides program that's caused some patients to miss appointments.

The House voted 86-56 Tuesday in favor of the measure introduced by Senate Democratic Leader Troy Jackson. The Senate endorsed it with a 24-14 vote Monday.

After the state switched to a new system in August, many Medicaid patients began complaining of missed and late rides.

Democrats say the problems reflect mismanagement within the state's Department of Health and Human Services. But Republicans contend that the federal government forced the state to switch to the new system and say the department has worked to fix the problems.

The proposal faces final votes in both chambers.


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