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May 06. 2014 10:38AM

Senate president wants to phase out Medicaid tax

CONCORD – Senate President Chuck Morse wants to phase out a tax that two lawsuits ruled unconstitutional — by using increased revenue from a health care insurance premium tax and additional federal money.

Unveiling his amendment to address the Medicaid Enhancement Tax rulings, the Salem Republican said he would change the current allocations so that more money would go to providers and less money to the state’s general fund, but many of the changes would not occur until the next biennium.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee voted unanimously for the proposal, which will be debated on the Senate floor May 15.

Under the bill, lawmakers will have to decide how to cut $56 million from the fiscal 2015 budget and a reduction of about that amount of general funds every year going forward.

N.H. Hospital Association President Steve Ahnan said he has not had enough time to review the proposal, but he acknowledged hospitals are split over the need to continue the Medicaid Enhancement Tax.

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