Medicaid expansion fight centers on question of funding

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A Maine judge says she'll weigh in soon on the future of voter-approved Medicaid expansion.

Justice Michaela Murphy heard oral arguments in Superior Court on Wednesday. Pro-expansion advocates continued arguing Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration has broken the law by stalling expansion.

Nearly three out of five Mainers last fall approved expanding Medicaid to 70,000 low-income residents. But the referendum didn't include a funding source for Maine's share, and LePage has opposed expansion over his financial concerns.

Murphy's tasked with deciding whether lawmakers must specifically set aside money before expanding Medicaid. She'll also weigh in Medicaid expansion's official start date.

LePage vetoed a bill to fund Medicaid expansion with budgetary surplus and tobacco settlement funds. Lawmakers didn't override the veto.

LePage's lawyer argues funding is up to lawmakers, not courts.