At the end of the legislative season, New Hampshire lawmakers decided to spend the summer studying whether the Granite State should accept or reject federal funds to extend Medicaid to more residents. A special committee has held weekly sessions on this, with a deadline of mid-October. We’ll find out what they’re looking at and what they may decide.
The Affordable Care Act encourages states to expand Medicaid coverage and provides funding to do so. So far, the tally is roughly even between states opting in and opting out, but some are still undecided, including New Hampshire. Medicaid expansion has support from the House and Governor but the Senate has some serious doubts.
Although the Supreme Court upheld most of the Affordable Care Act, it said states could choose whether to expand Medicaid. Supporters say doing so helps low income Americans gain coverage and boosts the economy. Critics warn it’s government overreach and is simply unaffordable. We’ll get New Hampshire’s take on this debate.
New Hampshire’s Medicaid program currently insures poor children, the disabled and low income pregnant women.
But after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, the state must decide if it wants to expand the program to adults that earn less than $15,000 a year: roughly 58,000 people in New Hampshire.
According to Representative Bill O’Brien, the state just can’t afford to cover those extra people.
Lawmakers will decide this spring whether to expand the state’s Medicaid program to include childless adults making less than roughly $15,000. To make sure they have all the information they need, the Department of Health and Human Services commissioned a study to look at the effects.
We poured over the 61-page report, and boiled it down to these 5 takeaways.
When the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act, it said states must be given a choice about expanding their Medicaid programs.
Option A: Keep things as they are.
Option B: Enroll more people, and the Federal government will help you pay for their care.
Democrat Jackie Cilley likes that second option. She says that if New Hampshire doesn’t grow its Medicaid rolls, poor people will continue to slip through the cracks, and that Republican lawmakers in Concord would bear the blame.
Q. What does the state have to decide in terms of Medicaid expansion?
A. The Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act gives states the choice to either maintain their current Medicaid program or extend it to more low-income residents. In states that choose to expand, adults who bring home less than $15,000 a year and a family of four who earns less than $30,000 a year will qualify. In New Hampshire, expansion would add about 56,000 people to the state's rolls, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
A group of New Hampshire lawmakers will meet Wednesday to begin discussing how the state should move forward under the nation’s health care law. One of the big questions for the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee is whether New Hampshire should expand its Medicaid program.
The recent Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act gives states the option to extend Medicaid to more low-income residents. Under the new law, beginning in 2014, an adult who brings home less than $15,000 a year and a family of four with income under about $30,000 will qualify.