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LePage Says Maine's Medicaid Battle Likely to go to Supreme Court

AUGUSTA, Maine - The First Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a federal requirement that the state of Maine provide Medicaid coverage to several thousand low-income 19- and 20-year-old young adults.

The state had sought to drop coverage, but when the federal Department of Health and Human Services disapproved, the state petitioned on constitutional grounds. Gov. Paul LePage says he was not surprised. He says he has expected that the United States Supreme Court would decide the issue.

"I don't know about the rest of the people on the staff, but I thought from the first time this would end up on Roberts' lap," LePage says. "This has to be decided at the Supreme Court and we are just going through the process."

LePage told MPBN News he hopes the court will decide to hear the case. Although he had no specific amount, he says the case, so far, has not been very expensive, and that outside legal fees have been very reasonable.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills refused to represent the state in the matter, siding with the federal Department of Health and Human Services.