To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to District 2 Senator Jeanie Forrester:
I am writing this in response to your column in The Laconia Daily Sun this past Saturday, November 16, stating that "You are not going to vote in favor of Medicaid expansion" for 58,000 of our neediest and most vulnerable residents. Have you talked to any of your constituents that are actually receiving Medicaid and those that could if you would vote to give them the chance that most of us who can afford health care get? If you did, I think you will find that many of them are the same rock solid N.H. taxpayers you say you are protecting from expanding Medicaid.
Every day in N.H., indeed, all across the United States, new cases arise that some one's family member will need the services of Medicaid be it because of job loss, a catastrophic illness like cancer or Parkinson's disease, brain damage from a heart attack or stroke, possibly paralyzed. In many of these situations, the family members are not equipped to take on their loved ones care be it financial, or the medical know how required to help them, or the time and yes the patience to take on such a life changing event.
For some of those that those that get the care they need, they will again become contributing members of society and for the rest it insures that they will be cared for as long as need be.
By accepting Medicaid expansion, which falls under the Affordable Care Act, it gives all the states the opportunity to take care of those without health insurance and it does not cost us or the state a single penny for the first three years. N.H. can opt out at the end of three years. Or, low and behold, we have a healthier society because folks are getting the preventive care they need and the emergency rooms are no longer their first option. After three years we can stay in the program by paying only 10 percent of the costs to our state.
Doesn't this speak to the kind of society we want to be? These folks are our Katrina and Hurricane Sandy victims, except that we let the federal government come to their aid. Let's do the same for our residents that live day-to-day with medical challenges that most of us don't have to worry about.
In reading a book I just bought called: "The Bully Pulpit, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism", there is a sentence in there in respect to a different matter but I find it very fitting to this topic. It was said by Teddy Roosevelt about President McKinley's delay in making the decision to go to war. Teddy said to his bother-in-law, "I am more grieved and indignant than I can say at there being any delay on our part in a matter like this. A great crisis is upon us, and if we do not rise level to it, we shall have spotted the pages of our history with a dark blot of shame."
I agree with the above statement by Roosevelt; let's be proud that we are there for them when they need it the most.
Give it a try for the three years it will not cost N.H. any money at all.