Friday, March 7, 2014 at 08:11AM
New Hampshire Poised to Expand Healthcare Access Under the Affordable Care Act To Thousands Of Working Granite State Families
Concord, NH - This afternoon, the New Hampshire State Senate voted in favor of expanding access to health coverage through federal Medicaid funding made available by the Affordable Care Act with strong bipartisan support from both parties. With Senate passage of Medicaid expansion, once the bill passes the House, thousands of hardworking Granite Staters will gain access to vital health care.
“Today’s bipartisan vote for a Medicaid Expansion compromise in New Hampshire is a tremendous step forward for our state. Governor Hassan worked with leaders of both parties to reach a compromise that placed hard working Granite Staters ahead of partisan ideology,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley.
This commonsense compromise is not only good health policy; it is good economic and fiscal policy too. Economists estimate that expansion will inject $2.5 billion into the New Hampshire economy, create new jobs, and save hard working Granite State taxpayers millions of dollars. In fact if New Hampshire had refused to accept these federal funds, they would have gone to states like New Jersey, Arizona, or Ohio where conservative Republican governors have opted to expand Medicaid for their constituents.
“With expansion, 50,000 Granite Staters will no longer have to fight cancer and bankruptcy at the same time. Instead they will have the economic security that only comes with health insurance coverage,” continued Buckley.
The final roll call vote was 18 to 5, with 7 Republicans, including Senate President Chuck Morse and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, joining all 11 Democrats in the state Senate to vote in favor of the compromise.
“Faced with an opportunity to vote for a bipartisan common sense compromise that strengthens the economy and expands health care coverage, 5 Republican State Senators sided with the Tea Party instead of the people of New Hampshire,” added Buckley. “Shame on them. In November, voters will hold Andy Sanborn, Sam Cataldo, Russell Prescott, John Reagan, and Sharon Carson accountable for putting partisan ideology before people."
Fact: 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 the Medicaid expansion on New Hampshire, the Lewin Group estimated 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 Chris Christie 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 Brewer is Vetoing Any Legislation That Reaches Her Desk Before Expansion. Republican Governor 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]