Home » Opinion » Editorials
Expanding costs: NH's Medicaid problem
Ah, Obamacare. Not only does it fail to control the rising cost of health insurance, it is poised to substantially increase the state's Medicaid costs. All those people who thought Obamacare provided "free" health care are going to learn differently when the state raises their taxes to pay for all the new Medicaid enrollees.
A new report from the state Department of Health and Human Services concludes that Medicaid would cost the state an additional $85 million by 2020 if the state agrees to expand eligibility as Obamacare recommends. (Obamacare required this expansion until the Supreme Court ruled that provision unconstitutional.)
Obamacare will result in about 30 million more Americans obtaining health insurance coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office. More than a third of them (about 11 million) will not get private insurance, but will be enrolled in Medicaid either because of its eligibility expansion or because of the mandate that forces them to get insurance. Medicaid, of course, is not free. Taxpayers fund it.
In New Hampshire, Medicaid has long been reserved for truly needy families: those who earn less than 63 percent of the federal poverty level. Obamacare sets eligibility at 133 percent of the poverty level. If New Hampshire expands eligibility to meet the Obamacare rule, the federal government will pay for 100 percent of the costs until 2014. Then, 90 percent (until Congress, unable to afford that, drops the subsidy to a much lower level). The $85 million quoted in the DHHS report could turn out to be far higher.
Gov.-Elect Maggie Hassan favors expanding Medicaid eligibility. She also campaigned on restoring funding to the University System of New Hampshire ($50 million a year) and a host of other programs and services. She has yet to say where she will find the money to pay for all of these things. In a few months, New Hampshire taxpayers are going to find out.
READER COMMENTS: 12
- Texting while stopped: Banning safe behavior - 4
- Lives not lost: As long as we remember - 0
- Slammed: A Seabrook officer indicted - 9
- Abuse in school: A city teacher and a late report - 2
- Computerized firearms: Holder's bad gun idea - 3
- Republican diversity: NH welcomes political ideas - 8
- Reams vs. Foster: A power grab struck down - 4
- City health costs: Wellness coordinator is no fix - 1
- R.I.P., Tom Brennan: A good manager and better man - 2
READER COMMENTS: 2
- Two crashes reported on I-93 in Canterbury, Londonderry - 0
- Man killed in Seabrook fire identified - 0
- Student brings knife into Nashua school - 0
- Ex-director jailed for theft from Londonderry nursery school - 1
- UPDATE: Search suspended for Northfield man a second day - 0
- Anonymous email was 'malicious,' says Auburn police commissioner - 0
- Senate votes to ban hand-held cellphone use in cars; bill heads back to House - 10
- Auburn town administrator under fire - 0
- Belmont High likely will keep Red Raider mascot - 3
Manchester mayor: 'It's the tax cap budget'
Derry woman accused of burglaries
Another View -- Jeff Goley and Will Infantine: Time for an increase in weekly benefits for NH unemployed
Portsmouth arrests 2 for heroin sales
IT overload: Bureaucracy on bureaucracy