Maine relying on federal funding for Medicaid expansion

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) Maine is expanding Medicaid without a federal stamp of approval, but the woman nominated to lead the state's health agency says there's no question Maine will receive federal funding.

Former White House official Jeanne Lambrew says the federal government cannot deny Maine's paperwork to expand Medicaid retroactive to July 1. Lambrew, who helped roll out former President Barack Obama's health law, said states have the option of expanding Medicaid under the act.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said Thursday 529 Mainers have qualified for expansion so far. Lambrew said it appears there's enough funding for Maine's expansion costs for most of the 2019 fiscal year.

Former Republican Gov. Paul LePage filed a court-ordered Medicaid expansion plan but urged federal regulators to reject it.

Mills has filed amended paperwork with federal regulators.