Key Point: "For almost a year, legislators have tried to hammer out a plan for Medicaid expansion. Senate President Chuck Morse said Wednesday that it is unlikely a deal would be reached. “Essentially, I don’t think the state of New Hampshire wants to put up Medicaid expansion,” Morse said... There is so much opposition in the Republican Senate caucus that its own plan may not have the votes to pass Thursday."
WMUR: Senate Republicans shoot down compromise for Medicaid expansion
Gov. Maggie Hassan says not expanding Medicaid for low-income residents is a mistake
November 21, 2013
It appears a deal to expand Medicaid will go down in defeat during Thursday’s special session after Senate Republicans shot down Gov. Maggie Hassan’s proposed compromise.
Democrats are claiming that Republicans never wanted Medicaid expansion in the first place, and were essentially just running out the clock. Republican leaders, while not abandoning their own plan, said New Hampshire can’t afford to expand the program.
For almost a year, legislators have tried to hammer out a plan for Medicaid expansion. Senate President Chuck Morse said Wednesday that it is unlikely a deal would be reached.
“Essentially, I don’t think the state of New Hampshire wants to put up Medicaid expansion,” Morse said.
The plan under consideration would take around $50,000 low-income residents of New Hampshire and put them on Medicaid until they could be shifted to a private insurance exchange.
Republicans said after the rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act, voters are having second thoughts.
"That's a real concern, so they don't want us to make a mistake in New Hampshire by voting for Medicaid expansion," Morse said.
The sticking point between the governor and Senate Republicans is the timeline for expansion. Republicans wanted it for only one year. Hassan said that was unrealistic and offered a compromise of two years.
“Just this morning, after at least one of the members of the Senate Republican caucus indicated to us they though our compromise plan could work, we took it to the Senate president and he just said, ‘No.’” Hassan said.
Hassan said “No” has been the word out of Morse’s office for the last six weeks.
“Our proposals are very, very close, and what’s really disappointing right now is that the Senate president has said it’s too hard, and he wants to stop talking rather than go the last little bit to get it done,” Hassan said.
Supporters of expansion said there are consequences for thousands of low-income state residents who don’t have health care. Republican leaders said just taking more federal money is wrong.
“What we’re being presented with in the House bill is just an expanded entitlement that doesn’t protect taxpayers,” said Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro.
There are still concerns among conservatives over what happens when the federal money for the expansion begins to taper off. There is so much opposition in the Republican Senate caucus that its own plan may not have the votes to pass Thursday.