CONCORD – The House Republican Alliance (HRA) today issued at statement regarding the House leadership efforts to ram through the House a second attempt at the passage of Medicaid (welfare) expansion. The amendment to HB 544, is almost identical to the Medicaid expansion bill that passed in the House during the special session in November of 2013, but was rejected by the Senate.
“Since the special session in November, new information about the usage of Emergency Room use for Medicaid patients has been released, clearly showing that expanding Medicaid increases, not decreases the use of emergency room for visits,” stated Pam Tucker-Greenland. “This bill is being rushed through again with little regard to how we will pay for the nearly $18 million in new state costs when the broke federal government stops paying for it.”
“There is a critical weakness with Expanded Medicaid that no one addresses. Because Obamacare refuses to allow insurance for lower income adults, early retirees may be forced onto Medicaid. What the population does not know and the press has not discussed is that the expanded Medicaid program for those 55 and older is not insurance, but rather a loan program. If a person is 55 or older and receives a Medicaid payment, after death of that person, his / her estate must repay 100 percent of those payments -- thus this is a loan program and not health insurance for this group. This rushed procedure to pass Medicaid expansion again by attaching a major policy and cost through via an amendment is unprecedented in the House.” States Lynne Ober- Hudson. “As a member of the committee on Medicaid expansion last fall, we received the fiscal note just 30 minutes prior to exec’ing the bill, giving us little time to digest the devastating impact to our state and costs.”