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Advocates for older Mainers decry lack of funding in proposed budget to help pay for Medicare

Advocates for older adults say Gov. Janet Mills' proposed budget rolls back changes to a program that helps older Mainers pay for Medicare.

The state was supposed to expand eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program by March 1, but the funding was not included in the recently released spending plan.

Jess Maurer of the Maine Council on Aging says she doesn't understand why, especially because Maine expanded Medicaid under Gov. Mills.

"You have to ask the question, why is it OK to expand health insurance for younger people, but you're actively opposing expanding insurance for older people?" says Maurer.

She says expanding eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program would cost $14 million, but bring in $37 million in federal dollars.

A spokesperson for the Department of Administrative and Financial Services says the administration is doing a partial expansion of the program, but has been forced to plan for flattening revenues.