The House released the Medicaid Expansion bill HB544 yesterday that they are desperately pushing to pass as soon as possible this year. The expansion is 100% fully funded for the first 3 years by federal funds (via Obamacare) then in phases down to only being 90% funded by 2020. That leaves New Hampshire residents/taxpayers with a hefty $18,250,000 or more added to the annual budget. What have the Democrats come up with to pay for this huge difference? Not a thing. The plan is to ‘terminate’ the program when this funding is no longer 100%. Name one Democrat who has ever terminated a government handout program? As a matter of fact, no Republicans probably have either.
The state legislature is doing nothing but pushing a future tax increase onto the people of New Hampshire but not being honest and telling them that. How can they possibly believe passing Medicaid Expansion without a solid plan to pay for it is a good idea? On top of it Speaker of the House Terri Norellli (D-Portsmouth) has decided not to hold any public hearings on this bill. It’s reminiscent of the way National Democrats like Senator Shaheen and Representative Shea-Porter voted for Obamacare with not one Republican vote and despite the majority of their constituents wanting them to vote ‘NAY’.
House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) shot back at Norelli in a release:
House Democrats have again chosen to ram this significant policy change through with little or no debate. This is one of, if not the largest expansion of a government entitlement program the New Hampshire legislature has ever faced. Attaching such an expansive piece of legislation to an unrelated bill is not the right way to approach any issue, much less something of this scale. On Wednesday, the House will be asked to vote on an amendment we haven’t even seen or been able to review. There will be no public hearing or opportunity for public input. It’s unfair to our Representatives and to our constituents. This is not how we should do things in New Hampshire.
Every Granite Stater should be aware of this massive increase to future budgets. Not one legislator should vote for the Medicaid Expansion until they tell taxpayers exactly how they will be expected to pay for it – will it be a sales tax; income tax; increased property taxes; increased fees? Constituents deserve to know the full implications of huge government programs their representatives want to put into place.