MANCHESTER – Americans for Prosperity – New Hampshire (AFP-NH) today called the ongoing effort to bring Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called ObamaCare, another effort to lower the quality of tens of thousands of New Hampshire citizens. Kevin Landrigan, of the Nashua Telegraph, today reported that Rep. Cindy Rosenwald has filed legislation for the 2014 session for the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion. Two earlier attempts to expand Medicaid that have passed the House have failed in the New Hampshire Senate.
“Twice, the House has passed ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, and twice the Senate has wisely passed on legislation that would reduce quality for tens of thousands of New Hampshire residents, make everyone wait longer for care and potentially leave state taxpayers holding the bag for hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Greg Moore, AFP-NH State Director. “Both House plans would take over 20,000 people out of high-quality private health insurance and dump them into Medicaid, without any choice on their part. Furthermore, more than 11,000 uninsured individuals will have access to heavily subsidized private health insurance through the exchange starting on January 1st, and expanding Medicaid would rip them out of their newly-acquired health insurance and also dump them, without choice, into a substandard Medicaid program. Expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare is a bad idea that’s getting worse.”
Moore said that before New Hampshire even considers any Medicaid expansion, the state needs to understand the implications that ObamaCare is already having on the existing program. As a result of Healthcare.gov website and numerous navigators working to enroll people, thousands of individuals who are currently already eligible for the program are now signing up. Federal statistics have placed this “woodwork effect” at 1,800 individuals, while the state suggests that number is 1,200. The cost for the care for these new Medicaid enrollees is split equally between the state and federal governments.
“Before the legislature looks at expanding Medicaid eligibility, it should first work to get its arms around the impact on the current Medicaid program by ObamaCare,” added Moore. “The millions of dollars in marketing efforts for ObamaCare are driving thousands of individuals onto the program, and that could have devastating consequences for our current state budget. These new enrollees are all added onto a Medicaid program that is currently coming apart at the seams. We need to know if ObamaCare is blowing a huge hole in our current budget, and the federal government and the state can’t even figure out how many people have signed up. This is all the evidence we should need to avoid Medicaid expansion for good.”