NHDP - Senate Republicans Side With Tea Party Over Working Families, Reject Medicaid Expansion

Concord - Senate Republican are turning their back on thousands of hardworking New Hampshire families.  Republican Senate President Chuck Morse said no to Medicaid Expansion despite that fact that it would improve the health and economic security of working families and has been endorsed by some of the country's most conservative Republican Governors.  Morse's pathetic excuse for giving up and throwing in the towel was that there are "too many moving parts.

"Chuck Morse and his radical band of Tea Party sycophants in the state Senate should be utterly ashamed of themselves.  They had a chance to make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of Granite Staters and instead they sided with radical fringe of the Republican Party opposing commonsense solutions to expanding access to health care," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director.  "New Hampshire Republicans are following the extreme and irresponsible ideology of Ted Cruz, refusing to compromise, and opposing everything health care related no matter the pain their reckless schemes will cause real people."

Republican Chris Christie in New Jersey, Republican Jan Brewer in Arizona, Republican Rick Scott in Florida and other Republican governors across the country have all announced they will be accepting the federal funding for expansion.  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.” 

With independent experts projecting that Medicaid Expansion would bring $2.5 billion into New Hampshire's economy, create new jobs, and save the state $92 million, a bipartisan committee recommended the state expand Medicaid.  Republican State Senator Nancy Stiles voted for the recommendation, and the Governor and House's proposal based on it received bipartisan support in the House Finance Committee.

Clearly Morse never really wanted to compromise.  After putting out a flawed, unworkable, unfeasible plan, he left the negotiating table for newspaper editorial boards said in his mind the alternative was to "delay expansion entirely."  A fellow Republican lawmaker from Morse's own district admitted that his constituents wanted Medicaid expansion.  One of Morse's Republican colleagues in the state senate admitted that the GOP plan was fundamentally flawed and could require an "emergency fix" in just a few months.  Independent experts and the state Department of Insurance both warned Morse's plan could force thousands of Granite Staters off their insurance during the holidays next year.

"The radical Republican decision to return hundreds of thousands of dollars back to the federal government instead of investing it it New Hampshire is bad fiscal policy, bad health policy, and bad economic policy," continued Kirstein.  "Did self aggrandizing 'numbers guy' Chuck Morse leave his calculator behind when he became senate president or did he do the math and simply doesn't care about helping working New Hampshire families.  Either way he owes New Hampshire voters an explanation as to why their tax dollars wont be invested in strengthening the health and economic security of Granite State families."


FACT: Senator Morse's Real Intentions Were To Delay, Don't Compromise, Do Nothing.
WMUR: Democratic Gov And House Speaker Compromise On Medicaidexpansion; GOP Senate Balks. "With the commission’s work done and the legislature now in the middle of a special session to choose a path forward, Gov. Maggie Hassan and state House Speaker Terie Norelli, both Democrats, said they would incorporate some ideas from Senate Republican leaders to pass a bill when the legislature meets next Thursday." [WMUR, 11/13/2013]

Portsmouth Herald: Deadline looming for N.H. House, Senate Medicaid Deal."Richard Albertoni, of Public Consulting Group, told the House Finance Committee that if New Hampshire adopts too ambitious an implementation time-line, there might not be enough insurance companies offering products to provide competition. Albertoni, who is advising the state Insurance Department, said using the exchange for newly eligible adults under an expansion of Medicaid in 2015 would pose "significant risks" to its success." [Portsmouth Herald, 11/14/2013]

Nashua Telegraph: NH Governor Offers Medicaid Compromise; Senate President Slams It As ‘Unsustainable Entitlement.’ “Meanwhile, a private consultant working for the New Hampshire Insurance Department affirmed Hassan’s view that it would take state officials much longer than mid-2014 to have an infrastructure in place to help low-income adults purchase private insurance. ‘I would put a project at significant risk that approved Medicaid enrollment for premium assistance at January 2015,’ said Richard Albertoni with Public Consulting Group. He said the proposed House deadline of January 2017 was achievable.” [Nashua Telegraph, 11/14/2013]

Union Leader: NH Democrats say GOP proposal for Medicaid coverage 'unworkable.' "'We need to be very, very careful how we go about doing the premium assistance piece,” Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny told the House Finance Committee Wednesday. “If it’s 2015, we’re heading for the rocks, while 2017 gives us enough time.'"  [Union Leader, 11/14/2013]

Fact: Republicans Ignored Evidence Medicaid Expansion Would Strengthen The Economic Security And Health Of Countless New Hampshire Families.

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 Groupestimated 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 ChrisChristie 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]