In a State House memo today, Speaker of the House Terri Norelli states that Medicaid expansion is one of the top issues on her agenda for 2014 (they've actually been trying to pass it for the past year). The Medicaid expansion is part of the ‘Affordable Care Act’ aka Obamacare in which states are given 100% of the money to cover the additional people that would fall under Medicaid (they increased the amount of money people can earn to be eligible). After 3 years; however, the federal funds will begin to phase down to only 90% of the total costs by 2020.
The Democrats have not come up with a plan on how New Hampshire will pay for the reduced federal funding (at least not that they’ve shared yet). They simply want to expand Medicaid (itself a terrible program with poor outcomes) without telling Granite Staters how they will eventually be forced to pay for it. According to Norelli, the state is losing out on $500,000 per day in order to insure 58,000 people. By her estimate that means the state of New Hampshire will be responsible for $50,000 per day once the federal funding goes down to 90%. If you do the math, that’s $18,250,000 per year that will be added to the state’s budget. That’s no chump change. Passing any program without having a solid plan on how to fund it is egregious. How can any state legislator support expanding Medicaid without first having a solid plan on how it will be paid for when the time comes?
New Hampshire residents deserve to have policies put into place only when the policies are sound and have been completely thought through, including how they will be funded. The entire country is already seeing what a mess Obamacare is causing – UNinsuring the insured; people losing doctors and where they can go to hospitals in New Hampshire are just a few; not to mention higher premiums for most people rather than the $2,500 savings Obama claimed most families would see. The Granite State is a small state. Legislators cannot risk expanding Medicaid without first solidifying the financing part. Not only is it bad policy but it’s not the way any state should be run.