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: 0
- Middle school student's mom says principal used chokehold - 18
- School board suspends driver's ed program in Manchester, will probe source of $180k deficit - 2
- Manchester middle school principal placed on leave - 2
- Lebanon begins search for new school superindendent - 0
- Inventor excites Manchester fourth-graders with math, science possibilities - 0
- Nashua officals tour technical education center - 0
- City fourth-graders to meet entrepreneur Dean Kamen - 0
- No 3-day weekend for kids in Manchester school system - 5
- Quarrybrook Outdoor Learning Center in Windham a hit with schoolkids - 0
- Nashua caretaker wants evidence suppressed in sexual assault case - 0
- Former coach from Nashua charged in sex assaults claims confession was involuntary - 0
- NH highways have potentialy deadly guardrail end pieces, transportation commissioner says - 0
- Neighbor won't be charged in shooting death of Rumney chiropractor - 9
- Staples says it is probing possible payment card data breach - 0
- Manchester police: Ga. man stole truck in Mass. to visit mom in NH - 0
- South African Olympian Pistorius sentenced to five years in girlfriend's murder - 0
- Expect the unexpected in NHIAA field hockey tourneys - 0
- Giants' blueprint? There is none - 0
GT Advanced Technology attorney hoping for Apple agreement today to allow more openness in bankruptcy courtREADER COMMENTS: 0
A series of sharp exchanges at 2nd CD debate
Murder-suicide ruled in Fremont deaths
Keene police working to identify rioters, notify other colleges of students' participation
Locked in a dead heat, Shaheen, Brown spar