NHDP - Far Right Sununu Opposes Considering Medicaid Expansion, Health Care for NH Working Families

Concord – This morning, Republican Executive Councilor Chris Sununu voted against holding a special session of the legislature to consider the recommendations made by the bipartisan Medicaid Expansion Commission.  Yesterday, the commission voted to approve a final report recommending New Hampshire expand its Medicaid program and offer thousands of currently uninsured working families health insurance. The federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost for the first three years, and then gradually shifts to funding no less than 90 percent.  New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Harrell Kirstein released the following statement on Sununu’s irresponsible vote.
"Chris Sununu sided with the far right Tea Party base of the Republican Party that shutdown the government over Obamacare and against thousands of New Hampshire working families today.  He is taking the same failed anti-obamacare at all costs approach as Republicans in Washington.  The facts are clear, Medicaid expansion would inject $2.5 billion into New Hampshire’s economy, create new jobs, save Granite Staters $92 million, and expand health insurance coverage to thousands of currently uninsured working families.  It is not just good health policy, its good fiscal policy, and good economic policy as well. 
“Where are Sununu’s priorities, with his constituents or with the Tea Party? Some of the most conservative Republican Governors in the country have expanded Medicaid.  Republicans in New Hampshire support moving forward with a special session.  But if Sununu had gotten his way, starting on Janurary 1st, New Hampshire will lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars every day and thousands of working New Hampshire families would continue to be uninsured. That is shameful.”
Fact: Sununu Ignored Evidence Medicaid Expansion Would Strengthen The Economic Security And Health Of Countless New Hampshire Families.

  • Bragdon Admitted “he didn’t understand much about Medicaid.”  At a forum in Milford the Telegraph wrote, “[Bragdon] also admitted he didn’t understand much aboutMedicaid until this budget session. Medicaid expansion is considered the most contentious part of negotiations now underway over the proposed budget plan for Fiscal Years 2014 and ’15. [Nashua Telegraph, 6/4/2013]
  • Lewin Group: Moving forward with Medicaid Expansion would bring $2.5 billion into the economy, create 700 jobs, and save the state $92 million. [Lewin Group, Jan 2013]
  • Think Tank: Postponing Medicaid Expansion Even By One Year Would Cost An NH Irreplaceable $340 Billion. Economic and heath care policy experts at the NHFPI predict that "If New Hampshire delays, it would lose out for a year - maybe more - on the 100 percent federal match.  In detailed reports assessing the impact of theMedicaid expansion on New Hampshire, the Lewin Group estimated that a one-year delay would reduce the federal funds coming into New Hampshire by $340 million." [NHFPI, 5/28/2013]
  • STUDY: "Medicaid Virtually Wiped Out Crippling Medical Expenses Among The Poor." "The big news is that Medicaid virtually wiped out crippling medical expenses among the poor: The percentage of people who faced catastrophic out-of-pocket medical expenditures (that is, greater than 30 percent of annual income) declined from 5.5 percent to about 1 percent. In addition, the people on Medicaid were about half as likely to experience other forms of financial strain-like borrowing money or delaying payments on other bills because of medical expenses." [The New Republic, 5/1/2013]
  • STUDY: "People On Medicaid Ended Up With Significantly Better Mental Health." "The other big finding was that people on Medicaid ended up with significantly better mental health: The rate of depression among Medicaid beneficiaries was 30 percent lower than the rate of depression among people who remained uninsured. That's not just good health policy. That's good fiscal policy, given the enormous costs that mental health problems impose on society-by reducing productivity, increasing the incidence of violence and self-destructive behavior, and so on." [The New Republic,5/1/2013
  • Accepting Federal Funding for Expanded Medicaid Would Bring NH A "Number of Economic Benefits." The non-partisan New Hampshire fiscal policy institute found, "if New Hampshire takes the federal money, it will enjoy a number of economic benefits as well. It will gain an average of 5,100 new jobs; the state will enjoy a $2.8 billion increase in gross state product; personal income will increase by more than $2 billion, and; household spending on health care will drop by almost $100 million statewide." [NHFPI Testimony, 5/9/2013]
  • STUDY: Refusing to Expand Medicaid Will Be “More-Costly,” Require States Higher Spending on Uncompensated Care.  A non-partisan study revealed, “State policymakers should be aware that if they do not expand Medicaid, fewer people will have health insurance, and that will trigger higher state and local spending for uncompensated medical care,” Price said. “Choosing to not expand Medicaid may turn out to be the more-costly path for state and local governments.” [The Hill, 6/3/2013]

Fact: Conservative Republican Governor’s Support Medicaid Expansion to improve health and economic security.

  • Some of the most conservative Republican Governors in the country are accepting federal funding for Medicaid expansion.  Republican Chris Christie in New Jersey, Republican John Kasich in Ohio, Republican Rick Scott in Florida and other Republicans across the country have all announced they will be accepting the federal funding for expansion. [National Medicaid Map]
  • GOP Governor Christie: Expansion will save taxpayers money. In announcing plans to accept federal funding for expanded Medicaid Christie said, “accepting these federal resources will provide health insurance to tens of thousands of low-income New Jerseyans, help keep our hospitals financially healthy and actually save money for New Jersey taxpayers.” [Forbes, 2/26/2013]
  • GOP Governor Brewer is Vetoing Any Legislation That Reaches Her Desk Before Expansion. Republican Govnernor Jan Brewer is “so determined to put the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in place in her state that she’s vetoing any legislation that reaches her desk until the Republican Legislature caves.” [Politico, 6/5/2013]