Jan 6, 2016 9:34 AM

NH Legislature launches election-year session, lawmakers face issues of expanding Medicaid

The Associated Press

CONCORD - N.H.'s Legislature is opening its election-year session with plenty of political maneuvering expected to steer policy discussions.

One of the biggest issues facing lawmakers when they get back to work Wednesday will be whether to continue the expansion of Medicaid, which has provided subsidized health insurance to more than 45,000 people since it took effect in 2014.

The plan expires at the end of 2016 unless legislators reauthorize it. The federal government has been paying the whole cost but the state will ultimately have to pay 10 percent. Reauthorization needs support from Republicans who control both houses of the Legislature, so lawmakers are looking for a way to pay the added cost without hitting taxpayers.

Legislators also will immediately begin considering measures to combat the state's drug abuse crisis.

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