EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


July 28, 2013

Your view: Letters to the editor

State needs federal Medicaid help

To the editor:

There are about 58,000 of our New Hampshire work force age 65 and under earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty line who had better have a working understanding about the latest body blow currently being landed on them by our state Republicans in Concord.

In the face of even a modicum of common sense both politically and morally, both the Tea Party and mainstream GOP in our Senate and House are undermining Gov. Maggie Hassan’s acceptance of over $2.5 billion in guaranteed federal Medicaid funds, covering the next 7 years.

We currently have 137,000 residents enrolled on Medicaid, with the aforementioned 58,000 all set to be added to the rolls on Jan. 1, 2014. The federal funds are already allocated and guaranteed, regardless of what state and national GOP politicians, hate radio and Fox “News” commentators might be telling you. The only thing the governance of each individual state has to do is accept the money.

Since this is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) we’re talking about, an initiative that is necessary to both the health of our citizens and our nation’s economic well-being, it’s being avoided like kryptonite by our state legislature as well as 23 others across the country, including Texas, Louisiana and the Carolinas.

A sad fact about these states’ refusals of the funds, coupled with the denial of health benefits to those affected, will be the hugely increased state spending for the medical costs of all those uninsured citizens, making this decision a double-edged sword for all sides. And it will also make it tougher for those uninsured people this Jan. 1 when the new federal mandate kicks in and they have to purchase their own insurance in the marketplace. This, of course, is exactly what the anti-Medicaid side is waiting for: imagine all the misleading headlines next year that will be blaming Obamacare for the ongoing plight faced by our working poor for their increased medical coverage expenses, despite the fact that the entire problem will be caused by the GOP’s spiteful refusal of funds.

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