To the editor:
The New Hampshire Legislature will vote in October on whether or not to accept $2.4 billion from the federal government to expand Medicaid coverage in the state as part of the Affordable Care Act. This would provide health care to low income people not currently covered by insurance, including current Medicaid. To be eligible individuals must earn less than 133 percent of the poverty level of income.
So far the Republican-controlled New Hampshire Senate has said no to this. That would be a self-inflicted wound to the state because: the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost of the program for three years and no less than 90 percent thereafter; the New Hampshire Medical Society, the New Hampshire Hospital Association and the New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association have all endorsed the program and believe there is capacity in the treatment system to handle any increase in utilization; and the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute states that the expansion of Medicaid will create 5,100 new jobs in the state and increase gross state product by $2.8 billion.
So, it doesn’t cost the state money, and provides significant fiscal benefit, all while helping low income people get health care. The state can withdraw from the program if it is unsuccessful. Why not do it? Maybe because it is part of our president’s excellent health care insurance plan and some Republicans will do anything to stop that. Let’s hope the New Hampshire Legislature will be more interested in helping the state’s citizens than in trying to spite the president.