Lawmakers should say yes to Medicaid expansion

This important decision will affect 19-to-64-year-old women and men who earn up to $15,856 a year -- too much to qualify

As we begin the new legislative session, Medicaid expansion is on the minds of our lawmakers. We appreciate the willingness of legislators to look with fresh eyes at this extraordinary opportunity endorsed by business leaders, the provider community, health and human service organizations, and especially those who would directly benefit by the expansion of health care coverage.

This important decision will affect family members, friends and the people we interact with daily in nearly every industry: 19-to-64-year-old women and men who earn up to $15,856 a year. They earn too much to qualify for Medicaid as the law currently allows, and too little to qualify for the federal health insurance subsidies.

Bi-State Primary Care Association and the Community Health Centers strongly encourage legislators to expand health insurance coverage to those who will be ineligible otherwise. We support it for public health and economic reasons.

Our state would receive $2.5 billion over the next seven years to expand health care coverage. The program would be fully funded by the federal government over the next three years.

The Lewin Group projected that our state would forfeit $340 million by delaying implementation by a year.

I believe our elected officials want to act quickly to protect and provide for the people of New Hampshire and will take the time to consider the wide-ranging impact of this critical decision.

This is an opportunity to say “yes” to the 58,000 people waiting for better access to health care coverage. Our families, friends and neighbors deserve this.

Tess Stack Kuenning is president and CEO of Bi-State Primary Care Association.

Categories: Opinion