EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 27, 2013

Letter: Let senators know New Hampshire wants Medicaid funds

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

The Republican obstructionism in Concord is hurting thousands of New Hampshire citizens. Our representatives in Concord have deemed it necessary to study the effects of Medicaid expansion, thereby, threatening to refuse $2.5 billion in Medicaid funding.

The federal government picks up all the costs of the initial Medicaid expansion and then 90 percent permanently. This is a fact — it is part of the law. Other states including ultra-conservative tea party states like Ohio and Arizona have gladly accepted the funding — helping and protecting their citizens.

This obstructionism is hurting you, me, and the 58,000 New Hampshire citizens who could be well on their way to medical coverage. Every day costs us, the taxpayers, money. I personally would like to see some of the taxes I pay to the federal government because of my hard work returned to New Hampshire, not funneled off to other states.

The pain for real people is significant — 58,000 New Hampshire residents will be denied treatment if New Hampshire doesn’t go with the expansion. We all know folks who will be affected if not directly, then indirectly. Indirectly, their medical costs end up costing those of us with insurance higher premiums. Directly, an estimated 700 direct jobs will not be created. Those jobs would have created direct and indirect stimulus lost to New Hampshire’s economy — direct salaries for good paying jobs and then the secondary indirect effects of those salaries being spent in New Hampshire.

A study by the Lewin Group (January 2013) quantifies these secondary indirect effects that won’t be available if New Hampshire declines the funding: “Accepting these funds would create $2 billion in economic growth and save the average family $620 a year in medical costs.” The real cost of the Republican obstructionism in Concord adds up quickly.

The vote will be a close call in the New Hampshire Senate. We must contact Sen. Chuck Morse and let him know that New Hampshire citizens want expanded Medicare for two reasons: to help people get medical care and to create jobs and improve New Hampshire’s economy.

Dee Lewis