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Health

Health Care Advocacy Group Files Suit Against LePage Administration

AUGUSTA, Maine — Consumers for Affordable Health Care is suing the LePage Administration.

At issue is a canceled contract under which the consumer advocacy group acted as a health care service ombudsman for a decade.

Emily Brostek, who heads Consumers for Affordable Health Care, says the cancellation of the contract is a violation of state and federal law.

"This is putting Maine people, who are trying to get important medical care through the MaineCare program, at jeopardy," she says. "It's putting families at jeopardy of not getting the care they need. So we filed the suit to make sure the state is living up to its legal obligations."

There's also a bill going before legislators to restore the ombudsman program.

"I think that the bill is another good way to address this issue," Brostek says. "We're supportive of anything that's going to ensure that the state of Maine is providing these important services to Maine people."

Brostek says the lawsuit seeks restoration of the contract with Consumers for Affordable Health Care to cover short-term needs. Long-term, she says the group would welcome a bidding process.

"At that time, if the Department chose to put together a bid to see what other qualified nonprofits are interested in doing that work, I think that's completely appropriate and we would support that," she says. "We would welcome a chance to bid on it."