NH must reauthorize Medicaid expansion



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To the editor: 

We write in support of House Bill 1696, which will reauthorize the state’s unique version of Medicaid expansion, the NH Health Protection Plan.

A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. The health of New Hampshire’s residents is tied to the state’s economic prosperity. NHHPP invests in the vitality of our growing workforce, begins to address the ever-increasing costs of coverage for all of us, and stimulates economic development in the Granite State.

We know that individuals and families that are uninsured rarely access preventative care from a physician, often waiting until their conditions are grave before seeking care in an emergency room. This cycle not only leads to poorer outcomes for patients, but adds to the cost of uncompensated care which is passed along to us all. This invisible tax hinders economic growth in New Hampshire.

As employers, the effect is higher costs to provide our employees with private insurance. For our employees, the effect is more money deducted from their paychecks to maintain their health benefits. This is bad for the bottom line – in both the boardroom and around the kitchen table.

Thanks to the NH Health Protection Plan, nearly 47,000 low-income residents now have insurance, providing them access to care and better outcomes. This in turn reduces the amount of uncompensated care to the state’s providers, which means less cost-shifting to our businesses and our employees. Since the proposed legislation pushes the sunset date back, it gives us all the opportunity to reevaluate NHHPP in the future.

Again, we urge the Legislature to adopt the amended version of HB 1696 and vote to reauthorize the NH Health Protection Plan. 

This letter was signed by 15 New Hampshire business leaders:

Sherilyn Burnett Young, Rath Young & Pignatelli; Nancy Clark, Drive Brand Studio; Richard Couch, Hypertherm; Tim Dining, Sealite USA; George Downing, Elektrisola; Linda Fanaras, Millennium Integrated Marketing; Pam Hall, Normandeau Associates; Sharron McCarthy, McLean Communications; John Morison, Hitchiner Manufacturing; John Olson, Whelen Engineering; Richard Samuels, McLane Middleton; Richard Verney, Monadnock Paper Mill; Steven Webb, TD Bank; Don Welch, Globe Manufacturing; and Val Zanchuk, Graphicast.

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