AUFC Lauds NH Senate for Voting to Expand Medicaid

Clearing Path for 50,000 Granite Staters to Finally Access Quality, Affordable Health Care

Washington DC – Hailing it as a major victory for New Hampshire’s health and economy, Americans United for Change praised the New Hampshire Senate for passing the bipartisan Health Protection Program (SB 413), legislation to accept available federal resources to cover the around 50,000 workers in the state who are not impoverished enough to qualify for Medicaid and earn too much to qualify for subsidies to get private insurance in the new health law’s Exchange.  With bipartisan support, the SB 413 cleared the Republican-controlled Senate by an 18-5 margin and is now on all-but-certain path to becoming law as it now goes before a Democratic-controlled state House and a supportive Governor. 

This week Americans United for Change aired radio ads in Manchester and Concord appealing to Senators to support a healthier New Hampshire and taking to task State Sens. Andy Sanborn (R-District-09) and John Reagan (R-District-17) for their vocal, Tea Party-influenced opposition.  Listen to ‘No Way to Live’ here:

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “Lives will be saved, health will be improved, and insurance premiums will come down in New Hampshire as a direct result of what the state Senate did today, and they should be proud.  The Senate listened to the chorus of Granite State hospitals, doctors, nurses, families, small business owners and the clear majority of voters who understand the economic and health benefits for the state in accepting these federal resources, including hundreds of new health sector jobs and less cost shifting onto the insured to make up for uncompensated care. A healthier New Hampshire means a wealthier New Hampshire.”

A new survey out this week from New England College showed that two-thirds (66 percent) of New Hampshire residents support SB413, while just 25 percent opposes it and 10 percent said they are unsure.  Until the bitter end, Tea Party beholden lawmakers like Sens. Sanborn and Reagan repeated their poor ‘sticker shock’ excuse for why they opposed SB 413, despite the fact that the first three years are totally paid for by the federal government; and the additional spending starting in 2017 would amount to less than 3 percent more than what New Hampshire would have spent on Medicaid anyways in the absence of the health law.  The economic and health benefits for New Hampshire of accepting Medicaid resources far outweigh the marginal added costs years down the road.