RAYMOND - I wanted to provide some answers to questions you may have about Medicaid expansion in New Hampshire. These four points cover some of the main political issues surrounding expansion. These do not address the alternative proposal that was brought before the commission the week of September 12th. I will try to bring you more information on the alternative proposal as it develops.
Frequently asked questions on Medicaid Expansion in New Hampshire, as I understand it, are as follows:
1. Proponents of Medicaid Expansion are calling it a $2.5B infusion into the New Hampshire economy. Is that an accurate statement?
No. As part of Obamacare, Medicaid expansion is funded, in part, by over 20 new or increased taxes, including taxes on employers and individuals who choose not to buy health insurance, a surtax on investment income, a tax on health savings accounts, a tax on medical device manufacturers, and taxes on insurance companies, drug companies and charitable hospitals, among others. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), only 65% of the federal health law’s funding comes from these new taxes and fees, and the Obama Administration’s recent decision to delay penalties for the employer mandate is expected to reduce these revenues even further.
Also, in order to pay for Obamacare, there will also be cuts to Medicare that could total over $700B. Seniors may have to deal with higher out-of-pocket costs, fewer benefits, and fewer plan choices.
There is no dedicated federal funding stream specifically for Medicaid expansion except for borrowed dollars that will increase our already staggering nearly $17 trillion national debt. The CBO estimates that the federal government is expected to run annual deficits. If New Hampshire expands Medicaid, it will add $2.5billion to those deficits and debt.
This is not “free money” from Washington. New Hampshire citizens and businesses will be paying for this expansion through federal taxes, and future generations will be burdened with even more debt than we see today.