Update on the New Hampshire Health Protection Plan (Medicaid Expansion) February 2016

By Marie Mulroy, NHPHA Past President

HB 1696
, the bill to extend the NH Health Protection Plan, had a public hearing before the Finance Committee in the House on February 17th.    While there are still some critical issues with the bill that need to be fixed, this hearing was strictly to determine the financial aspects of the New Hampshire Health Protection Plan (Medicaid Expansion).    The hearing ran about 2 hours and was limited to testimony from the hospitals, insurers, clinics and providers. 


The questions from the Finance Committee revolved around several major themes: 
  • Whether the cost savings would be passed on to the insureds and those receiving services.
  • If the hospitals and insurers, who have agreed to pay for the cost of the expansion through various methods, would pass the cost of expansion onto consumers or would they absorb it into their overhead.
  • Were there any general funds being used to finance this - directly or indirectly.
These central themes will be developed and explored further this week in Finance during two work sessions on March 1st and March 2nd as well as a final executive session on March 3rd .  HB 1696 will then head to the floor of the House for a final vote on March 9th or 10th before moving over to the Senate should it pass.

This is a crucial time because the fate of the 47,000 people who no longer had to decide whether to buy food or seek medical attention is going to be decided.   It also is a crucial time for those providers in rural or "safety net" settings who struggle with the financial impact of uncompensated care. 

WE NEED YOUR HELP!


NHPHA's ask this week of our members is to check and see if any members of the Finance Committee are in your district and reach out to them and let them know how important Medicaid Expansion is to public health and to the health of the economy of New Hampshire.  It will also be helpful if everyone reaches out to their House of Representatives member to encourage passage of HB 1696 when it comes up for a vote. You will have a more receptive listener/reader if you begin the conversation with, "I am a constituent of yours..."

If you do reach out, please send an email to info@nhpha.org so that we can keep track.     Thanks.  

RECENT ARTICLES that may be of interest:

Concord Monitor:  
NH Medicaid Expansion gets frosty welcome from House Finance Committee

NH Public Radio:  
Debate on Medicaid Expansion Centers on Who Will End Up Paying
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