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N.H. Senate panel recommends against Medicaid expansion: 'Trying to explain that will be a nightmare'
Today, the New Hampshire Senate Finance Committee approved a $10.7 billion, two-year budget that does not expand Medicaid to cover the state’s poorest uninsured adults.
If the full Senate goes along with the committee and the House concurs, low income Granite Staters will be denied financial assistance under the Affordable Care Act because they don’t make enough money. Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus, a child advocacy group, explains:
“In states that do not expand Medicaid, some of the neediest people will not get coverage. But people who are just above the poverty line or in the middle class can get subsidized coverage. People will be denied assistance because they don’t make enough money. Trying to explain that will be a nightmare.”
Quote of the day: The only consistent position
Last week, Republicans claimed we couldn’t trust the federal government on expanded Medicaid, now they are ceding control to the federal government? The only consistent position Republican senators have taken is to ignore the actual legislation in front of them and vote with the reckless Tea Party.
— Harrell Kirstein, New Hampshire Democratic Party spokesman, on a Senate panel recommendation to kill a bill that would align New Hampshire’s insurance rules with the Affordable Care Act. If the full Senate concurs, the federal government will regulate the state’s individual and small group health insurance.
Telegraph: Senate Republicans channeling Bill O'Brien
In a blistering editorial, the editors of the Nashua Telegraph blast state Senate President Peter Bragdon and his Republican followers for their ideologically-driven budget proposal.
The editors single out the Senate’s refusal to expand Medicaid to cover the state’s poorest uninsured adults calling it an “ideological mess.” They warn the senators that “New Hampshire voters aren’t an ideological bunch and they don’t appreciate it from their elected leaders, either:”
Day by day, Bragdon and his Senate Republican brethren come closer and closer to channeling ousted House Speaker Bill O’Brien and his disgraced leadership team. In their philistine fight to dismantle government, O’Brien et al. cut many essential programs to the bone, leaving some of the state’s neediest out in the cold. Last November, voters rewarded O’Brien by ousting many of his colleagues and relegating him to the back bench.
With regards to Medicaid, it’s a lesson Bragdon and his followers should pay closer attention to.