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Which is it Sen. Forrester? Is Medicaid expansion likely to happen?

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

I and others are still concerned about the failure to provide health care to thousands of working poor in New Hampshire. Back on Nov. 15, six days before the Senate vote on Medicaid expansion, Senator Jeanie Forrester wrote a letter to the editor published in local papers in which she expressed her concern that "growing the Medicaid entitlement ... will...break our budget and lead to a broad-based tax."

We need to remember that Sen. Forrester was among the senators who voted last June against including Medicaid expansion in the budget legislation about to pass the Legislature. She instead called for the naming of a commission to study the issue, yet again. The N.H. Department of Health and Human Services had already authorized a complete study of the issue by the reputable Lewin Group. The Lewin Group's reports were issued in November, 2012, and January and September, 2013.

There was no mention in the Lewin Group reports of the need for any new taxes to finance Medicaid expansion. The Commission to Study the Expansion of Medicaid Eligibility used the Lewin Group reports as some of its primary sources of information and data. The Commission's final recommendations also did not raise any words of caution about the potential for a broad-based tax.

Yet now that the Senate Republicans have succeeded in killing all proposed forms of Medicaid expansion, Senator Forrester is quoted as saying, "I think people want to get this done." She indicated that all sides were working together. "Right after the session adjourned, we began talking," she told the press.

So I and other voters are really confused. Which is it, Sen. Forrester? Do you oppose Medicaid expansion because you think it is likely to bring a broad-based tax to N.H. or is it a proposal you in fact support and that is therefore likely to happen?

Your constituents would like some clarification of your position on this issue, for it is extremely murky from our perspective.

Anne Rogers