HRA comments on Expanded Medicaid

House Republican Alliance URGES N.H. House to Block Medicaid Expansion
HB 271 Would Save Taxpayers Millions and Prevent Further Government Dependency
CONCORD, N.H.—A bill up for a vote in the N.H. House tomorrow would block the expansion of Medicaid in New Hampshire under Obamacare, saving taxpayers millions of dollars and protecting thousands of residents from dependence on a failing system, according to Pam Tucker, co-chair of the N.H. House Republican Alliance.
HB 271 would seize a rare opportunity offered in the U.S. Supreme Court Obamacare decision that gave states an out from Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion provisions.
Proponents of Medicaid attempt to sell the expansion on the idea that the federal government would cover most of its cost up front, but New Hampshire taxpayers would be responsible for at least $15 million of the cost each year through 2019 and then up to $100 million per year after that—and that’s in a best-case scenario.
“When our state’s budget is stretched to its limit every two years even without this new entitlement, how is the Legislature going to come up with another $100 million each year without a new broad-based tax to pay for it?,” Tucker said. “Government has already grown so large that it impedes the growth of our state’s economy by taking money out of the hands of private-sector job creators. The new spending under a Medicaid expansion is the exact opposite approach we need to facilitate new jobs and get the state’s economy back on track.”
What’s worse, the Medicaid expansion could cost New Hampshire even more money if history repeats itself. There hasn’t been one year since Congress passed a special education law in 1975 that the federal government has given states the 40 percent contribution it promised. The federal contribution has only rarely risen above 15 percent, and the highest it ever reached was 32 percent.
“With Congress looking for more areas to cut spending in the next few years, its Medicaid contribution could easily become its next broken promise,” Tucker said. “Even with the federal government’s full contribution to an expanded Medicaid system, fewer New Hampshire residents will be supporting the failing system for even more people. What happens when there are no taxpayers left because no one can support the cost of their own medical care?”
Because Medicaid pays medical care facilities below their market rate for products and services, fewer facilities are accepting Medicaid as payment for service. That means the growing number of people with Medicaid due to the expansion would be forced into longer lines at fewer facilities with insufficient services at their disposal. At the same time, those facilities that do accept Medicaid would pass their losses on to patients who buy health insurance, which would continue to drive up the cost for medical care.
“There may be money on the table to pay for the Medicaid expansion up front, but even in a best-case scenario New Hampshire’s burden will be too great in just a few years,” Tucker said. “We urge the House to pass HB 271 on to the Senate to seize the rare opportunity to avoid another underfunded mandate from Washington.”