Hospitals are lobbying state lawmakers to begin paying off Maine's Medicaid debt. The state owes hospitals $186 million dating back to 2009.  That needs to be paid. That debt is a road block to $298 million in federal matching funds that hospital officials say they need desperately.

Some hospitals say the lack of reimbursement has forced them to cut stuff, delay capital improvements or borrow money for operating costs. All that ends up affecting patient care. The hospitals are lobbing to get the payments with advertisement and meeting with lawmakers.  However, the lawmakers are facing another big issue, $120 million revenue shortfall in the state's current Medicaid budget. No one is saying the hospital don’t deserve or need this money, but everyone is looking at budgets asking how to make this happen?