Maine governor Paul LePage says he'd go to jail before he expands Medicaid

Maine Governor Paul LePage speaks in Boston on Nov. 13, 2015. Gretchen Ertl/Reuters

Maine's fiscally conservative governor says he'd rather go to jail before expanding Medicaid and putting the state in "red ink." Gov. Paul LePage made the remark Tuesday during a call-in on WVOM-FM.

Nearly three out of five voters last fall voted to expand Medicaid to 80,000 Mainers by July 2. Advocates are encouraging Mainers to sign up.

The Republican governor is fighting a court order requiring him to follow the voter-approved law and submit paperwork needed for Maine to receive federal funding. He successfully vetoed a bill to fund Maine's share of expansion with surplus and tobacco settlement funds.

LePage has long told lawmakers to pass long-term funding under his terms, including no new taxes. He's now suggesting new hospital taxes could cover expansion.

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