MANCHESTER – Americans for Prosperity – New Hampshire (AFP-NH) pointed to more tangible evidence that the proposed high federal match rates for Medicaid expansion included in the Affordable Care Act – commonly called ObamaCare – will be reduced. In a National Journal story in today’s edition, U.S. House negotiators make clear that the ongoing federal budget discussions will include plans to immediately reduce the federal match rate for expansion to 90% and make potential further reductions in the future, as a way of offering the U.S. Senate the relief it wants from the sequester.
“The idea that New Hampshire would perpetually see an extraordinarily high match rate for Medicaid expansion is pure fiction,” said Greg Moore, AFP-NH State Director. “Now, we are looking at the very real possibility that no state might actually see even the first year paid for at the proposed 100% match rate. If New Hampshire expands Medicaid under ObamaCare, and the matching rate drops to the traditional rate here, Granite State taxpayers would have to pick up over $350 million in new costs over a budget, which means an income tax. There is no way that anyone can call themselves a fiscal conservative and ever support such a proposal.”
The story goes on to quote U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan as saying, “The notion that the federal government is going to keep matching Medicaid spending at this level is a notion that is just a faulty premise. It’s going to get cut.” New Hampshire is set to vote on competing plans to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare Thursday. Both the House and Senate plans expand the Medicaid program, but the Senate version would drop the program is the federal government reduced its reimbursement rate.
“Expanding Medicaid before we see the outcome of these budget negotiations would be an extraordinary show of fiscal irresponsibility, given the prospect that we could see cuts to Medicaid expansion in the next month and a half,” added Moore. “At the very least, the legislature should table these plans, pending the outcome of this budget negotiation. Otherwise, the state could be on the hook for up to $50 million in this budget if New Hampshire is required to pay 10% of the Medicaid expansion costs. That would mean re-opening the budget and either new taxes or other cuts elsewhere.”