CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

My Opinion

July 11, 2013

My Opinion: July 11, 2013

RAYMOND — Part of the Senate version of the budget, which stayed in the final budget version, was the removal of expanded Medicaid, and instead creating a commission to study the advantages and disadvantages of expansion. There are, in my humble opinion, many myths about the value of expanding, including:

Myth - If New Hampshire doesn’t expand Medicaid we will be passing up $2.5B in free federal money. Fact - There is no free federal money, it’s your tax dollars. We already have a $3.8T, (T - as in trillion) federal budget, and nearly $17T in federal debt. Any expansion would just add to both.

Myth - All the other states are doing it. Fact - twenty-six states have took the wait and see approach, studying the issues. Why shouldn’t we also study it first? With budget passed, we will.

Myth - In NH expanded Medicaid, 58K people currently without insurance would be covered. Fact - As I understand it, of that 58K, only 24K are currently uninsured. Thirty-four thousand currently have private health insurance, but would be shifted onto Medicaid at the taxpayers expense. Why?

Myth - Expanding Medicaid does not cost the state anything. Fact - Federal programs always cost the state in the end. In over the next seven years, it is estimated a net cost to the state would be up to $200M. Once federal match drops to 90%, it would cost the state nearly $50M annually.

Medicaid expansion is a very serious matter that truly deserves a full comprehensive study, and a fair straight up or down vote of the full legislature, completely separate from our state budget or any of state business. I was very happy that we are able to keep the creation of this “Medicaid Study Committee” in the budget, to study the costs and benefits, if any, of expanding Medicaid.

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Obituaries
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    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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