Health insurance for poor? Maine eyes cutting it.

Health insurance program costs Maine $40 million in the past two years, says governor, who's expected to unveil plan that cuts the health insurance initiative.

Robert F. Bukaty/AP/File
Mark Armstrong, of Lisbon, Maine, (left) and Arthur Langeley, of Durham, Maine, show their support for Gov. Paul LePage's budget proposal at the State House in Augusta, Maine, in March. Now,with a $120 million shortfall in the health and human services department, the governor is set to unveil a plan that could cut health insurance to 19,000 low-income adults.

Gov. Paul LePage is expected to unveil a plan this week to close a $120 million deficit in the budget for the state Department of Health and Human Services.

While details of the plan have yet to be revealed, LePage said during his weekly radio address Saturday that the state can no longer afford a Medicaid program that provides health insurance to some 19,000 low-income adults who do not have children.

LePage says the program which began in 2002 has cost the state nearly $40 million over the past two years.

Supporters of the program say it would be wrong to take health coverage away from residents at this time.

Democratic leaders have urged LePage to consider balancing the department's budget by looking for cuts in other agencies.

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