AUGUSTA – The Maine House on Thursday gave initial approval to a bill to restore cuts to the Drugs for the Elderly (DEL) program and the Medicare Savings Plan. The LePage administration and Republican lawmakers cut funding and eligibility for the program last year.
The measure, LD 629, passed in a largely party-line vote of 93 to 55.
The bill restores approximately $7 million in cuts to funding for the program over the next two years. The Drugs for the Elderly program and the Medicare Savings Plan help more than 35,000 seniors and people with disabilities pay for their life-saving medications and afford the co-pays to their doctor.
Maine has the oldest population in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The bill faces further votes in the House and Senate before it heads to Appropriations where the committee will determine funding sources in relation to the rest of the budget.