Earlier this year when the Senate Republicans were arguing for Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion, they were informed of the massive costs that would affect Granite Staters when the federal funding ran out. They tried to assure voters that for passing this massive federal intrusion into the small state of New Hampshire they would include “sunset” clauses if they didn’t get waivers or the funding stopped at 100%. Even Republican Gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein, who realizes they’ll do no such thing, is now on board with Obamacare expansion and thinks he can “fix it” rather than repeal it.
What none of the Democrats and clearly none of the Republicans who pushed Obamacare expansion seemed to realize is they are going to hurt the most vulnerable in the state. All of the arguments they made about why they needed to expand Obamacare yet they never actually thought about the future. These legislators knew the majority of people eligible for this expansion were able-bodied and/or working adults without children. Many of whom already purchased their own health insurance through their employers.
What is truly disturbing is that the people who are the most vulnerable in New Hampshire; the elderly, disabled, sickly and those with no income; are going to be traumatized by the Obamacare expansion in New Hampshire when they are pushed to the back of the line due to funding. Right now Medicaid matches New Hampshire on a 50 to 50 ratio. NH pays 50% of the costs and the federal government matches that 50% of the costs.
Under the Obamacare expansion, when the funds start to end at 100%, NH taxpayers will pay 10% out of state funds and the federal government will pay 90% of the costs. When cuts are necessary (and they will be since the Granite State is already over budget with Medicaid this year to the tune of $37 million), it will be the most vulnerable who will be wait-listed and told to get to the back of the line. The able-bodied people getting Obamacare’s expansion are more valuable to the state budget than the most vulnerable Medicaid participants.
The Foundation for Government Accountability has studied this issue in depth and concluded the following in Nebraska which also applies to New Hampshire:
Nebraska’s plan to create a new entitlement for able- bodied adults will ultimately redirect limited state and federal resources away from the truly needy, including the elderly, individuals with disabilities and poor children. Nebraska’s most vulnerable citizens are already struggling in a Medicaid safety net that is broken. Care is frequently fragmented, access to quality care is often low, and health outcomes remain poor. Rather than protecting the most vulnerable, Nebraska’s plan to expand Medicaid actually prioritizes able-bodied adults over the truly needy patients relying on the Medicaid safety net.
When Walt Havenstein says he’ll fix Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion rather than repeal it for a better solution, he falls right into the same uninformed category as the Senate Republicans who voted for this behemoth federal program. A program that will not only hurt the finances of New Hampshire but hurt the most vulnerable who actually need the state’s help.
Senators Boutin, Stiles, Forrester, Bradley and Morse are all up for re-election and each of them voted for this destructive program, despite their constituents objections to it. Boutin, Stiles and Forrester are in primaries against opponents who are against the Obamacare expansion. It’s time for a change New Hampshire. It’s time to vote for Senators who actually look at the big picture rather than succumb to pressure by outside lobbying groups. It’s time to put New Hampshire back on the right track.