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Policy: Entitlements

House moves forward MaineCare expansion plan

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Politics,Associated Press,Maine,Health Care,Medicare and Medicaid,Entitlements

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Maine lawmakers have advanced a proposal to expand health coverage to 70,000 low-income people.

The Democratic-controlled House on Wednesday gave all but final approval to a bill to expand Medicaid, administered as MaineCare in the state.

The House agreed with an amendment added in the Senate last week aimed at getting GOP votes that cuts off the program after three years. Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government pays 100 percent of the cost for covering newly eligible people for the first three years. Payments will be gradually lowered to no less than 90 percent of the cost by 2020.

Republicans attempted to add an amendment to kill the bill Wednesday, but it was rejected.

The expansion bill faces final House and Senate votes.

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