Medicaid still a budgetary sticking point
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Morse, R-Salem, told House negotiators Medicaid expansion, tax and fee increases and overblown tax estimates are off the table.
Later, Senate President Peter Bragdon, R-Milford, who proposed the Medicaid expansion study commission, said there is some room to talk about Medicaid expansion during budget negotiations.
Hassan and House and Senate Democrats have argued the state should expand Medicaid in order to add about 58,000 citizens to the state-federal health insurance program for the poor, disabled and elderly. They say the state would be foolish to turn down $2.5 billion in federal money, which will improve the health of residents and boost the economy.
He said the Senate would not entertain increased revenue estimates to justify more spending.
The House Ways and Means Committee recently boosted estimates by $49.2 million more than the Senate's.
The two budget proposals included identical funding for such big tickets items as higher education aid, the mental health system and developmentally disabled services
Budget negotiators will meet again Monday at 9 a.m. when they will discuss revenue estimates and Medicaid expansion.
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