Letter: Medicaid plan helps those with drug problems
New Hampshire has an unprecedented opportunity to expand access to treatment services for people with drug and alcohol problems: Medicaid expansion. We have some of the highest rates of alcohol and other drug problems in the country, yet as a state we invest very little in treatment and nothing for prevention.
You probably know or know of someone who is suffering from drug and alcohol problems and cannot afford to get help – including those on probation or parole, those working sporadically because of their disorder, those young people making minimum wage, those mothers and fathers, sons and daughters who are struggling without professional care. I know I do.
The information about Medicaid expansion can be complex, and we have heard a lot of it, but the decision is simple. New Hampshire can access 100 percent federal funding on Jan. 1, which would provide life-changing treatment for thousands who cannot now access care.
If I understand the opposition, there is a desire to study the options and efficacy of such an expansion. That is understandable, but postponing access to addiction treatment for thousands of residents is not. The Legislature needs to provide this funded health care and study the results, while simultaneously looking for more efficient and effective delivery options.
The Legislature has the opportunity to provide access to health care for New Hampshire’s lowest-income adults beginning in January. We can provide access to that health care. We can expand access to addiction treatment. We can expand Medicaid.