Maine Health Chief: $30M Cut In Shortfall Estimate 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Health and Human Services chief says the department’s budget shortfall is about $30 million less than it had originally projected.

Mary Mayhew told the budget-writing committee on Friday that the department re-ran its shortfall forecast based on expenditures from the first six months of this fiscal year, resulting in a much smaller figure that it had anticipated.

The department is now citing a shortfall in the state’s Medicaid program of about $78 million, down from $108 million.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration has said the state budget shortfall, which is largely driven by the Medicaid program, shows why the state shouldn’t expand the program under the Affordable Care Act.

But Democrats say the problems lie with mismanagement in the department, not out-of-control Medicaid spending.