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: 3
- George Will: How Obama has worsened inequality - 0
- Fergus Cullen: How an insured family, mine, ended up on the ACA exchange - 11
- John Stossel: The bogus war on women - 7
- Sheridan Brown: NH is vulnerable to an oil spill and needs some protection - 2
- Al Felgar: Patients can’t wait for state to fix narrow Obamacare network - 2
- George Will: The benefits of prudence - 0
- Jonah Goldberg: Paul and Cruz vie to become Reagan's heir - 0
- Thomas Sowell: Liberal education policies hurt minorities - 1
- Charles Arlinghaus: Yes, our paltry rainy day fund is a really big deal - 3
READER COMMENTS: 1
- Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Parents share what 'CJ' taught them - 0
- Gilford High junior surprised by Francis Wayland Parker honor - 0
- Police bill disputed by Stewartstown and Colebrook ends up in court - 0
- New to Nottingham, fire victims plan to stay - 0
- ‘Coffee with a Cop’ promotes police, community relations - 0
- Arts-based charter high school in Derry begins accepting applications - 0
- Troy voters accept community center donation - 0
- Voters support Bow School District articles - 0
- License revocations for DWI announced - 0
Police at scene of Center Ossipee shooting
New to Nottingham, fire victims plan to stay
Litchfield man found stabbed
Scott Brown's latest step stirs the pot
Hooksett's choices: Leave them to parents