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Legislators give N.H. Medicaid expansion plan a green light

The joint fiscal committee approved New Hampshire’s planned application for expanding Medicaid yesterday. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services must approve the proposal, which would extend insurance coverage to about 50,000 low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act.

In four votes split largely along party lines, the committee agreed to a plan developed by the state Department of Health and Human Services and Jeff Myers, director of intergovernmental affairs for Gov. Maggie Hassan.

The plan will use federal Medicaid money to buy private health coverage for adults making less than 138 percent of the federal poverty limit.

The coverage those plans are required to offer was modeled after the insurance plans sold on New Hampshire’s new insurance exchange, another provision of the Affordable Care Act.

In 2016, enrollees will be given federally funded subsidies to cover the cost of buying insurance on the marketplace.

The plan calls for enrollees who earn more than 100 percent of the federal poverty level (about $16,000 for a single adult) to pay $1 for generic prescriptions and $4 for brand-name drugs.

New enrollees will also have access to a substance use disorder benefit, a requirement for states seeking federal funding for the expansion. The federal government doesn’t require that all Medicaid programs offer the benefit, and New Hampshire has not, and will not for the foreseeable future, offer it to currently eligible people.

Myers and HHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas also submitted a letter affirming their commitment to seek federal permission to stop emergency room coverage for newly eligible Medicaid enrollees for nonemergency situations.

They promised in the letter to submit a proposal to the committee in 60 days.

Under the plan, the expansion would end if federal funding drops below 100 percent, and would end regardless at the end of 2016 if the Legislature doesn’t reauthorize it.

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

Legacy Comments15

The Federal Govt is not going to give permission to stop non emergency room coverage. They cannot even do that now with Medicaid. The 43 million is the figure given of folks who have no insurance. It is a lie.19 Million right off the top are illegals. There has been a spike in ER visits for non emergency since the ACA got past. And the abuse of the ER was already off the charts. You cannot change a culture where you have created an entitlement society. It is generational now. The ACA will be run just like the VA. Not enough doctors, narrow networks, and rationing. By the way, the govt gives out grants to Medical Schools for paid internships. medical schools are now producing 8% GP and the rest Specialists. Your tax dollars at work. Get informed.

You have no idea who are signing up for the ACA FOF. By and large they are folks who work is an assumption on your part. Another assumption is that 43 Million have no insurance. That is not the case. Basically, like all social programs, you folks have all these claims that they will work. Look at the War On Poverty. Did that change the culture? I believe the War on Poverty entrenched the entitlement culture, and did the opposite of what it was intended to do. If you do not understand human nature, and if you cannot see the generational poverty culture we have now, then your basically in denial.

I can tell you who is taking advantage of Obamacare. Small businesses and entrepreneurs who did not have insurance before, people torn away from insurance plans that they like and forced onto Obamacare, 18-25 year olds who really don't need or want to be on the insurance and progressives who support it at any cost. Many people have chosen career and work where they took careers that they love and have passion for with no regard for the insurance factor. I am sure that you remember the grant writer who penned a My Turn earlier this year and was "oh goody, goody" that the rest of us who have made the decision to take employment and fend for ourselves will all chip in to keep her going and in business writing grants.

The article is about 50,000 NH citizens being eligible for expanded medicaid. It, and my comments, have nothing to do with whatever 43 million people you are ranting about. Who's in denial? Did I not say that a culture change needs to happen? The difference between you and me seems to be that I'm willing to keep trying - but to try DIFFERENT things. This move by Commissioner Toumpas is different. It doesn't require medicaid recipients to police themselves - it makes it impossible for them to get ER care for non-emergencies. That's different, and I don't see why it won't work.

"Commissioner Nick Toumpas also submitted a letter affirming their commitment to seek federal permission to stop emergency room coverage for newly eligible Medicaid enrollees for nonemergency situations. " Excellent. This is exactly the kind of thing that needs to be done to keep costs down for everyone. Frankly, they should extend that requirement to ALL Medicaid enrollees. There's a culture change that needs to happen, and I'm glad the commissioner is willing to lead that.

The culture of, it is free, so we can abuse it, is one that has been ingrained in entitlement programs for many years. So all these years we have had Medicaid and Medicare patients going to the ER for non emergency treatments, and all of a sudden that is going to stop? Not gonna happen. The govt cannot police any of their programs, reform them or require folks on them to get off them. Basically the govt would get a -F Rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Gee, if it cost us all "so much" before for health care due to the emergency rooms and that was a reason to pass Obamacare, then why is it costing so much more now with Obamacare for different groups?

Nice work Rino' I said before, if you leave out rubbish, you get rats. Get in line, as you will be competing for that knee transplant with one of the trolls who lives beneath the bridges in Concord...Isn't socialism grand?

Socialism's a whole lot better than the venom you spew here. You have no idea who these newly eligible people are, do you? do you really think there are 50,000 trolls living under bridges in NH? By and large, most of these 50,000 will be people who work for a living, but don't make enough to afford insurance. (And the exchange excludes them, so they can't get a subsidyto afford insurance.)

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform "a miracle" and a major victory for Obama's presidency, but couldn't help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago. "We consider health reform to have been an important battle and a success of his (Obama's) government," Castro wrote in an essay published in state media, adding that it would strengthen the president's hand against lobbyists and "mercenaries."

Definitely a troll.

Yes, you are.

Am not you are. Itsa you used to be able to do better than this.

And then there were five. A new Carper, out-doing the originals in mean-spirit! What a great day!

Socialism is a whole lot better than Communism but not freedom, liberty and people taking a little self responsibility. Yes, progressives want to control every aspect of our lives, we get it. When I did not make enough, I took a second and third job. I don't see that happening today nor did I when times were good. Life is not about working 35-40 hours and then it is easy street. PS-the emergency room was cheaper than Obamacare.

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