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Letter: Expand Medicaid now

The Legislature came close to reaching an agreement on expanding Medicaid in November. While AARP applauds the efforts made to reach an agreement and the recognition that we need to do something, it is not enough to merely say something needs to be done.

For every day without a solution, New Hampshire loses nearly $1 million in federal funding that could provide affordable health care to low-income Granite Staters and reduce the need for expensive emergency room care.

Expanding Medicaid will help nearly 14,000 Granite Staters aged 45 to 64 who have lost their jobs or are in jobs without health benefits. Seventy percent are the poorest of the poor with yearly incomes under $12,000. Without expanded Medicaid, they will not be eligible for premium tax credits through the health insurance exchange, nor will they be able to afford insurance.

A study by AARP Public Policy Institute highlights the challenges faced by uninsured midlife adults and how access to expanded Medicaid could help:

∎ Chronic conditions increases in midlife, especially for individuals with low incomes;

∎ Mid-life uninsured adults with chronic illnesses are more likely to have worse clinical outcomes than the insured;

∎ Medicaid coverage could help them better manage chronic conditions, reduce costly emergency room visits and provide preventive care so when they become eligible for Medicare, they are not sicker and costlier.

∎ Access to Medicaid can also have an impact on the health of the midlife uninsured which can reduce the need for costly Medicaid-financed long-term care services.

AARP asks that the parties involved reach a New Hampshire solution that takes advantage of available funding to provide affordable health care to low-income Granite Staters. Expanding Medicaid will provide access to preventive care that can save lives. The time to expand Medicaid is now!



(The writer is volunteer state president of AARP New Hampshire.)

Legacy Comments19

Losing $1M in federal funds now and setting up the state later to pay that from its own coffers and perhaps more than that. The AARP, I had always thought was a worthwhile organization and I think for awhile it was. However, when Obama cut $716B from Medicare to fund his $1.9T Obamacare initiative, it gave the AARP a windfall of $1B in insurance profits and preserved another $1.8B in profits that the AARP already makes from its business interests. I find it hypocritical that the AARP, a for profit organization is asking citizens to once again "pony up" and spend more on health care. It seems like that $1B windfall for supporting Obama and Obamacare would go a long way to helping those who are in need. I wonder how AARP will profit from this? Beyond those obvious points, federal money is not "free" it costs us on the deficit, national debt and it was our money to begin with; the government takes it and "redistributes" it, may that be a warning for the inefficiencies of government and the lobbyists who are interested in pure profits over people.

The ACA does not cut medicare funding--you're repeating an untruth that should have been put to rest before the last election--it was well-covered then when Romney made the same claim. Cost savings are derived from reducing payments to insurers and health care providers-- while including incentives to become more efficient. But there are NO reductions in patient benefits. Paul Ryans' plan included the same kind of cost savings.

Bruce has introduced Krugman as a source. Readers are entitled to know more about Bruce's source. QUOTE: "Paul Krugman: Prepare For Alien Invasion — And Spend Our Way To Economic Recovery!" I ask the readers - do any of you think that more spending is a solution to the NObama Recession?

A Harvard University study published Thursday concludes that Medicaid enrollment significantly boosts emergency room visits...... This is in direct contradiction to the Obama administration’s claims that his healthcare reform law would put a dent in costly visits to the ER as a way to cut spending. . This FACT introduced to increase the validity of the hijacked debate

Leap to conclusions much? I think there is a little less here than headlines might suggest. Instead of making blanket statements, some questions to ask in the wake of this study: Has the health of the newly enrolled group that was the basis of the study improved? Is their use of the emergency significantly different from that of other insured groups? The increase cited, from about 1 to 1 and half visits over 18 months, doesn't seem like a big jump: going from just 1 visit to 2 visits over the 18 month period would be a 100% increase. With financial barriers removed, Medicaid patients see their primary care doctor more -- and also go to the emergency department at an increased frequency. Medicaid enrollees made, on average, 1.43 trips to the emergency department during the 18-month study period, compared to an average of 1.02 visits among those who entered the Medicaid lottery but did not gain coverage.

" Medicaid coverage could help them better manage chronic conditions, reduce costly emergency room visits and provide preventive care so when they become eligible for Medicare, they are not sicker and costlier."...well...that lie got a lot of miles..but now the scientific study that proves its not true...will be the focus of more doubt

One scientific study does not "prove" or disprove anything, not in climate science, and not in healthcare. Especially if other come to different conclusions. The authors acknowledged their study's limitations, but that didn't prevent others from touting the study widely-- minus the caveats. From the study: "There are several noteworthy limitations to this study. First, inherent selection bias is associated with any retrospective study. [...] For example, the proportion of Medicaid patients may be artificially inflated due to the fact that normally uninsured patients may garner Medicaid coverage during a given hospital admission...."

Hijacking a debate by Whack a Mole filibustering every post is proof of a debate LOST

How come when the two Bushes started three wars, Republicans weren't worrying about who was going to pay for them?

Are you folks still using that same, old, lame line. Get over it, it is irrelevant. PS-Democrats supported all three of those wars.

Are you sure you are not a politician, Itsa,. You are very adept at not answering direct questions.

The Vietnam "conflict" still costs $22 billion every year..just in case you forgot..

Answer the question.

Tillie, you make a good point. Unfortunately for us, fiscal irresponsibility is not limited to a single political party. Perhaps that is because as voters, we reward politicians who give us benefits, and punish those who raise taxes, and demonize any who suggest that the budget needs to balance. But, there is a ray of hope. The parties can work together, as they did for the only balanced budget we’ve had during my lifetime, when Bill Clinton (D) and Newt Gingrich (R) cooperated on a program of Entitlement Reforms and Tax increases. Perhaps that pattern could work today. I sense your frustration with the unfunded cost of wars. Here again, we have some good news. Our president has promised to bring home all the troops from Afghanistan in 2014. After that, no more war! Without the cost of a war, is there any reason we should not have a balanced budget? So, could you stand with me, and demand a balanced budget in 2015, and surpluses every year after that?

Once again, a proponent of Medicaid Expansion has neglected to suggest a plan to pay for it, as if it were free. Medicaid Expansion in NH will really cost about $500,000,000 in medical services provided; that’s $10,000 per person times 50,000-75,000 new beneficiaries. For every year, from now on. Somebody has to pay that cost. Lacking a plan, this cost will just be added to the national debt, hastening the day when paying interest on the debt, along with this and the other mandatory entitlements, will consume 100% of all taxes. I assert it is not a good plan to enslave my children and grandchildren to pay for anyone’s medical expenses today.

How is it going to be PAID? Honestly - how can any discussion / debate of this massive unaffordable expansion be touched without addressing how it can be funded? - Therefore the author automatically loses the debate

I think that the distasteful part of this is that AARP made a billion dollars supporting Obamacare and they are asking taxpayers to pony up more money, open their wallets while they sit atop a pile of cash. I could belong to AARP but honestly AMAC offers the same benefits and they are not politically aligned with the progressive movement.

Another weak comment sail. You can rant against all things liberal better that that and you know it! Come on, give it an effort!

snide comments offer the readers a great insight to the mind of the left.

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