SMITH FOR GOVERNOR - NH Doesn't Need Another Unfunded Federal Mandate

Kevin Smith cautions against letting history repeat itself; 

Calls for opting out of ObamaCare mandate to expand Medicaid

MANCHESTER – Today, Kevin Smith, Republican candidate for governor of New Hampshire, criticized his Democrat opponents, Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley, for embracing a vast expansion of Medicaid called for under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly  referred to as the ObamaCare law.

“New Hampshire doesn’t need another unfunded Federal mandate,” said Smith. “My opponents may choose to believe President Obama’s empty promises, but a vast expansion of Medicaid should not be forced on New Hampshire. Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley either don’t know their history, or they’re choosing to ignore it. Perhaps that’s because both wouldn’t hesitate to support a new broad-based tax to pay for another massive increase in government spending.”

“We’ve been down this road before, and have learned a tough lesson,” continued Smith. “As Governor, I would opt-out of the Medicaid mandate as allowed under the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare.”

Proponents of ObamaCare have pointed to a provision that calls for the Federal government to pay for 100 percent of new costs of expanded Medicaid eligibility in the states, dropping down to 90 percent by the year 2020. However, Smith cited a similar “promise” made in a 1975 special education law, in which the Federal government committed to pay 40 percent of special education costs. That mandate required states to provide a “free appropriate public education” for children with disabilities, but the federal government has never achieved that promised level of support.

“It’s been nearly forty years since Congress first promised to pay forty percent of the costs of special education, and since that time the Federal government hasn’t come close to fulfilling its end of the bargain. For decades, the federal government has chosen to leave some of our most vulnerable citizens without the funding they were promised. Why should we believe today that a huge expansion in Medicaid would be any different?

“New Hampshire can’t afford to be left holding the bill for another unfunded mandate by the Federal government. There has been an enormous financial burden created for cities and towns over the past 37 years that requires them to pick up the Federal share of special education. Repeating the same mistake with a huge program like Medicaid would cripple New Hampshire’s budget and economy.”

Since 1975, the Federal government has failed to meet the 40 percent funding level every single year. For almost four decades, the Federal share of special education funding has hovered at about 15 percent – less than half of the original commitment – with only one exception. In 2009, and only with the use of billions in one-time stimulus dollars, the Obama White House supported funding that reached approximately 32 percent of the costs for providing special education, still falling short of its commitment. In 2010, funding support from the Federal government shrank again to 17 percent and has remained there since.