Concord – This morning, House Democrats again offered Senate Republicans a commonsense compromise proposal to expand Medicaid in New Hampshire and strengthen the economic and health security of 58,000 Granite Staters. The House’s proposal would prevent New Hampshire from losing a million dollars a day from the federal government while still giving Senate Republicans a lot of what they wanted.
Responding immediately Senate Republican Finance Chair Chuck Morse claimed some in the Senate hadn't seen various studies and that the Senate hadn't held a "policy" hearing, and he questioned the length of the study in the House’s compromise. But delaying implementation of expansion would cost New Hampshire $340 million in irreplaceable federal funds in the first year alone. Additionally, economists and health care experts predict that expanded Medicaid would create 700 new jobs and invest $2.5 billion into the New Hampshire economy – neither of which would occur without expansion.
“Medicaid Expansion has been debated in the State House and across New Hampshire for months, it is troubling that the Senate Republicans either haven’t been paying attention to the discussion or haven’t done their homework,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Harrell Kirstein. “Either way, the thousands of hard working, tax paying Granite Staters who’s economic and health security would be strengthened shouldn’t be forced to wait for Republicans to get their act together.”
The House proposal now includes much of what the Senate wants, it provides for a study, maintains most of the structure, makeup and responsibilities of the study commission, and allows that commission to continue operation in an oversight capacity as expansion moves forward. It also calls for a Special Session of the legislature in August following the commission’s study to allow for a full up or down vote in both the House and the Senate.
“Medicaid Expansion is good health policy, good economic policy, and good fiscal policy. It is time for Senate Republicans to put their ideology aside, expand insurance coverage, create new jobs, and strengthen the economy with Medicaid Expansion,” continued Kirstein. “The House proposal represents a responsible way forward for New Hampshire to expandinsurance coverage and retain economic benefits of expansion while still giving Senate Republican much of what they wanted.”