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.”

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.