CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

Letters to the Editor

August 22, 2013

Medicaid Expansion

Medicaid Expansion

The two party system, via gridlock, is failing the American people. Compromise has been shelved for partisan intractability. Will this two party system sell out Granite Staters as well?

Earlier this year, the Democratic-led House of Representatives rejected a casino for cash-strapped New Hampshire. In what appeared as a tit for tat reaction, The Republican-controlled Senate defeated increases in the gas and cigarette taxes despite a deplorable lack of funds for infrastructure improvements such as I93, etc.

Now, New Hampshire citizens are awaiting a decision on Medicaid expansion. Will the state legislature refuse an infusion of $2.5 billion in federal money earmarked to provide expanded healthcare services in NH. Washington is funding $100% of Medicaid expansion from 2014 to 2016, and its portion gradually decreases to 90% of the program’s cost thereafter, in the year 2020.

Medicaid expansion will requires states to offer Medicaid coverage to all workers who make up to 138% of the federal poverty level, currently $15,586 for an individual. That income correlates to an hourly wage of $7.62; therefore, 138% of that wage equals $10.51 per hour. Wow! That sounds like the approximate wages paid by big box stores to their retail employees. Well, maybe not that much.

For the sake of argument, let us assume that the typical, low-paid, New Hampshire employee makes that $10.51 an hour and: 1) pays no federal and, of course, no state income taxes but pays Social Security and Medicare taxes totaling 7.65% of income, or $139/month; 2) pays the state average of $886/month for a one bedroom apartment; 3) pays the state average of $272/month for food; 4) pays $170/month for gas ($3.50/gallon) by driving 45 miles a day to and from work in a car that gets twenty miles a gallon, and does no other driving.

Now, let’s look at the monthly numbers: Income is 420.40 per week times 4.33 weeks in a month equals $1820. Expenses are shelter $886. food $272, gas $170, and Social Security and Medicare taxes of $139 for a total of $1467. Subtraction reveals a remaining availability of $353 a month to buy a car, car insurance, car repairs, clothing forget healthcare and health insurance; It’s obvious such a worker can not afford it.

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Obituaries
  • Elwood (Al) Shaw, 93

    Meredith, NH — Elwood (Al) Shaw, 93, of Center Harbor, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 30, 2014, at Forestview Manor in Meredith. He was the beloved husband of the late Greta L. (Sykes) Shaw, to whom he was married for 62 years.

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  • Jo Ann Hughes, 79

    Sandown, NH — Jo Ann (Phelps) Hughes of Sandown, New Hampshire passed away on Thursday, March 27, 2014, surrounded by all of her children at home. She was born in Little Bend Kentucky, to Beatrice (Shepherd) Phelps and John (Cat) Phelps in 1934. Jo Ann was predeceased by brothers, Marcus Phelps, Johnny Phelps, Forrest Phelps and sisters, Juanita Phelps, and Jeanette (Phelps) Vincent. She is survived by brother, Donald Quiggins of Georgia; sisters, Geneva (Phelps) Stanley of Kentucky, and Frances (Phelps) Bratcher of Tennessee who had just visited Jo Ann in September of 2013.

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  • Sherry Lynn (Cookson) Scanzilo

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    Atkinson, NH — Tom passed away on Sunday, March 30, 2014, at Elliot Hospital in Manchester. Tom was born on October, 30, 1940, at Clover Hill Hospital in Lawrence, Mass., as the only child to Hugh Clinton and Evelyn (Forcier) Clinton. Tom graduated from Methuen High School in 195

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    The Carriage Towne News Thu, April 17
    3 days 1 Photo
  • Jo Ann Hughes, 79

    Sandown, NH — Jo Ann (Phelps) Hughes of Sandown, New Hampshire passed away on Thursday, March 27, 2014, surrounded by all of her children at home. She was born in Little Bend Kentucky, to Beatrice (Shepherd) Phelps and John (Cat) Phelps in 1934. Jo Ann was predeceased by brothers, Marcus Phelps, Johnny Phelps, Forrest Phelps and sisters, Juanita Phelps, and Jeanette (Phelps) Vincent. She is survived by brother, Donald Quiggins of Georgia; sisters, Geneva (Phelps) Stanley of Kentucky, and Frances (Phelps) Bratcher of Tennessee who had just visited Jo Ann in September of 2013.

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