AUGUSTA — Maine Gov. Paul LePage used his weekly address to defend his hiring of a consultant to determine the cost of expanding Medicaid.

LePage said he’s getting blasted by opponents while the reality is that “the report provides a road map to save taxpayers money and improve services for the truly needy.”

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The report by the Alexander Group found that expanding Maine’s Medicaid system under the federal health care overhaul would cost an estimated $807 million and add 266,000 people to the state’s Medicaid rolls over the first decade.

LePage said there’s already a wait list for services.

He also said that Maine already has the nation’s third-highest spending on Medicaid on a per-capita basis and that the state can’t afford to spend more.