Published DateTo the editor,
The N.H. State Senate is faced with the heated task of voting whether or not to expand Medicaid in NH. The Supreme Court has ruled that states reserve the right whether or not to implement this expansion.
In order to entice states to rule in favor of expanding Medicaid, the federal government is dangling the carrot of 100 percent funding for the first three years, declining to 90 percent by 2020. This may look appealing and appear compassionate. We all detest the high cost of health care and know that "something must be done." However, that "something" needs to be the RIGHT thing, not just a shot in the dark that we HOPE will fix the problem.
The expansion of Medicaid will cost the taxpayers of New Hampshire $126 million over 10 years but unfortunately will NOT fix the problem of high medical costs and access to treatment. Approximately 30 percent of doctors say they will no longer take Medicaid payments, so there will be even fewer doctors to treat these patients. This will require Medicaid patients to continue to flood emergency rooms. My understanding is that hospitals are lobbying our representatives diligently to pass this expansion to receive these federal funds. Of course, these funds are either borrowed and/or printed at a terrifying rate of speed, further hurting the long term potential for a real solution.
This is a non-sustainable fix to a very real problem. Contact your Senator to tell them to NOT expand Medicaid in N.H. under these conditions. We ALL want to find a solution, but this isn't it! We need to sit down in New Hampshire, with both providers and consumers of health care in New Hampshire and find a New Hampshire-style solution to this problem that plagues nearly all of us!
In case anyone is prepared to accuse me of other than genuinely trying to fix this problem, please know that I do not have insurance. I would be happy to sit down with any policy maker or health care provider to come up with real world solutions to this very real problem.