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Feds deny request for early Medicaid cut decision

September 14, 2012 | last updated September 14, 2012 10:38 am

A federal court has denied the LePage administration's request for a rush ruling on whether the state government can make around $20 million in cuts — affecting around 36,000 people — to its Medicaid program.

The Bangor Daily News reported that a panel of three Boston judges in the First Circuit Court of Appeals "summarily denied" Attorney General William Schneider's request for an expedited decision in the case in a one-page decision issued Thursday.

The state has hoped a decision on cuts to the program would be ready by Oct. 1, but Thursday's federal court decision means the state might have to wait until the end of October to find if the cuts will be allowed.

Those proposed cuts could run afoul of the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act, which originally carried a provision that would have taken away federal Medicaid funds from any states that do not expand the program, which provides health care access to the poor.

In its June ruling on the law, the Supreme Court threw out that provision, which the LePage administration viewed as the go-ahead to make cuts without fear that all federal dollars for the program would be taken away.