AUGUSTA, Maine — Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage plans to attend a rally at a Maine hospital to draw attention to the state’s debt to hospitals for payments for Medicaid services.

LePage is to attend a noon rally at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and gatherings are also scheduled at hospitals in Sanford, Augusta, Bangor and Presque Isle. LePage says the rallies draw attention to financial burdens Maine hospitals are absorbing because of unpaid reimbursements for MaineCare, the state’s Medicare program, totaling nearly $400 million.

Democrats acknowledge the debt to the hospitals, but say they started piling up before Gov. John Baldaccci took office in 2003. Democrats also say a repayment schedule’s in place and the latest two-year state budget includes $132 million in hospital settlement payments.