NHDP - ICYMI: GOP stance against Obamacare hurts thousands of N.H. families

Key point: "The mischief in New Hampshire fits into a broader pattern. For the last three years, legislators in Republican-controlled statehouses have waged a campaign of obstruction against Obamacare....But refusing to make Medicaid available to more low-income families will exact a significant human toll. There are up to 58,000 New Hampshire residents who could be denied coverage if the state doesn’t accept the federal Medicaid expansion. They include families whose health needs are significant, and for whom lack of coverage may well mean lack of care."

Boston Globe Editorial: GOP stance against Obamacare hurts thousands of N.H. families
 
LAST YEAR’S Supreme Court ruling upholding Obamacare came with what seemed, at the time, like a minor asterisk. While the court found that overall the health reform law was constitutional, it did toss out a single provision that required states to expand their Medicaid programs. The Affordable Care Act contains a mandate that everyone who can afford health insurance must purchase it, but it also makes more low-income Americans eligible for Medicaid, the health program for the poor that’s administered by the states. But that expansion, justices ruled, had to be optional for each state.
 
Many analysts expected the impact of the court’s decision would be slight. After all, refusing the expansion makes little sense. The federal government picks up all the costs of the expansion initially, then 90 percent of them permanently. Hospitals and doctors would benefit from more insured patients. But many GOP governors and state legislators, grasping for any way to make a symbolic stand against President Obama, have seized on the Supreme Court’s ruling and turned down the money. New Hampshire, unfortunately, is one of them. It’s a short-sighted, partisan move; if the state’s legislature is called into special session in the fall to consider the Medicaid expansion, as expected, lawmakers should drop their opposition.
 
The mischief in New Hampshire fits into a broader pattern. For the last three years, legislators in Republican-controlled statehouses have waged a campaign of obstruction against Obamacare. In addition to refusing the Medicaid money, many Republican-led states have refused to set up exchanges to help residents buy insurance. At least New Hampshire isn’t one of these.
 
But refusing to make Medicaid available to more low-income families will exact a significant human toll. There are up to 58,000 New Hampshire residents who could be denied coverage if the state doesn’t accept the federal Medicaid expansion. They include families whose health needs are significant, and for whom lack of coverage may well mean lack of care.
 

Turning down a generous pot of federal money isn’t going to ruin Obama’s morning, as many GOP lawmakers seem to hope, but it will hobble their own constituents. In consideration of those who will suffer without insurance, Granite State Republicans should join with Democrats in extending health insurance to as many families as possible.