Health
4:48 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

House Committee Backs Medicaid Expansion

The plan to expand Medicaid endorsed by the state Senate has cleared its first hurdle in the New Hampshire House, gaining the approval of the Finance Committee on a 15-10 vote.

The Democratically-controlled House has already voted to expand Medicaid three times, and leaders there want to pass this version as soon as they can.

House Republicans, though, continue to put up a fight.

They raised concerns that the program could balloon beyond 50,000 estimated enrollees. They also argued rather than launching the program on July 1, the state should wait until it gets federal approval, a process that could take nearly a year. 

Democrat Tom Sherman of Rye spoke against that idea.

“To use patients and health care as a negotiating tool with CMS, I think is not appropriate for how we treat our residents and how we treat our constituents,” says Sherman.

The bill will go before the full House as soon as next week.