Mar 27, 2017 4:54 PM
CONCORD – On the third anniversary of New Hampshire’s Medicaid Expansion program, it’s clear a fourth anniversary will be marked. But whether the state reaches a fifth anniversary remains up in the air.
The top Democrat in the state Senate told NH1 News his party’s “ready to move immediately” to extend the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, which will expire at the end of next year. But even though the push by President Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress to repeal and replace the federal health care law (which greenlighted Medicaid Expansion for the states) collapsed, the state Senate majority leader cautioned that extending the program “now is premature.”
Democratic U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan marked the milestone on Monday, writing in a statement that “three years ago today, as Governor, I signed into law New Hampshire’s bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan, which is providing quality, affordable health care – including coverage for behavioral health and substance use disorder services – to more than 50,000 Granite Staters.”
Hassan touted that “experts have called Medicaid expansion the number one tool at our disposal to combat substance misuse, and Medicaid expansion is strongly supported by the business community because it is helping to reduce cost-shifting and build a stronger, healthier workforce.”
Friday U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledged that the country’s “going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” after he abruptly canceled a scheduled vote on the contentious Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
But state Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley told NH1 News on Monday that “even though the legislation in Washington was pulled and there’s no changes right now to federal guidelines for Medicaid Expansion, I think before we think about reauthorizing the current program, we need to make sure that’s exactly what’s going to happen in Washington that three or four or five months from now, they’re not coming back with a new health care bill.
The Republican from Wolfeboro, who last decade served two terms in the U.S. House representing New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, said “I happen to think there will be changes even though the health care bill didn’t move forward in Washington last Friday. I think having been in Washington before, I know that things are subject to change and I think something will move forward.”
Bradley said that that for now his priority is go “through the commission that I chair and make sure that the expansion is working properly as designed in 2016 when we reauthorized it.”
Asked about a timetable, Bradley answered that “if December comes and there are no changes to the ACA, that will guide us in what we’re going to do in terms of Medicaid Expansion next year. To me that’s the prudent way to do it. It’s what we did in 2016. We waited for the implementation to go forward in ’15, saw how it worked, and since this is all in a trust fund outside the budget, we don’t have to do it as part of the budget. So I continue to think doing it now is premature.”
He added that “in 2018 we’ll come back and debate what should happen with Medicaid Expansion. If there are no changes in Washington, that will push us in one direction.”
Democrats ‘ready to move immediately’
Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn, the top Democrat in the chamber, told NH1 News “what we designed in a bipartisan fashion clearly has worked. Democrats are ready to move immediately.”
But the Republicans hold a 14-9 majority in the chamber (the seat of Democratic Sen. Scott McGilvray, who died last week, is vacant) and Woodburn acknowledged that “we respect the political process. We respect that the Republicans have the votes.”
He predicted that “we’ll work with them (Republicans) to pass and renew our Medicaid Expansion program because what’s most important is the 50,000 people that are on the Medicaid Expansion program, the 10,000 who are getting substance abuse treatment services.”
Medicaid work requirements closer to reality in NH?
Earlier this month the Trump administration said it was open to letting states impose work requirements on some low-income adults receiving Medicaid. That’s a major departure from the Obama administration, which rejected attempts by states (such as New Hampshire) to add work requirements.
Bradley welcomed the shift from Washington, telling NH1 News “I’ve advocated going back to the reauthorization for work requirements. It’s New Hampshire law and I think that our department of health and human services should be requesting the work requirements be implemented. We have bipartisan agreement that work requirements are a good idea. We based it on the welfare reform work requirements. Democrats and Republicans agreed on that. It’s New Hampshire law. And I hope Washington will respect that, especially with a new administration.”
It was a different tone from Woodburn, who said “we’re not going to close any door at this stage of the game. We realize this is a moving process.”
But he added that “what we will not pass is some kind of faux Medicaid Expansion that does not continue coverage that we have today, that does not adequately fund it.”
“We’re focused 100% on a quality program like we have now,” stressed the Democrat from the North Country.
15 hours 14 minutes agoA Somersworth man is being accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl in front of his 9-year-old daughter. (More)
16 hours 56 minutes agoPolice said a large dog was shot by a dog owner after it attacked and injured the owner's small dog in a Hooksett rest...
20 hours 36 minutes agoMultiple teenagers are left without a job this summer after one town violated child labor laws. (More)
19 hours 27 minutes agoN.H. State Police issued a reminder to drivers about strapping items to the roof of their vehicles after they stopped a van with way...
21 hours 48 minutes agoMeth, pills, heroin and non-appearance charges are behind the arrest of several NH men in the latest Granite Hammer operation in Nashua. (More)
22 hours 15 minutes agoA Somersworth man was arrested Tuesday after police said he sexually assaulted an underage girl early Sunday morning. (More)
Jun 27, 2017 1:47 PMGrandparents bill signed by NH Gov. Sununu strengthens protections for grandparents raising grandchildren due to parents' incarceration or drug addiction. (More)
Jun 27, 2017 8:42 AMA mother's tweets sharing her son's hospital bill have gone viral as Senate Republicans are working to pass a new health care bill. (More)
Jun 27, 2017 1:11 PMA woman was arrested Friday after police found her home filled with trash, rats and animal waste. (More)
Jun 26, 2017 3:17 PMAn 80-year-old woman went out to close her chickens up and pick weeds form her garden, when a bobcat viciously attacked her. (More)
Jun 27, 2017 7:58 AMA video of a man apparently overdosing next to a woman in a vehicle and an officer coming to his aid in Boston has...
Jun 27, 2017 11:57 AMThe latest Snapchat feature could place you in harm's way, the Concord Police Department warns. (More)
Jun 27, 2017 8:47 AMThe family of a teenage lifeguard who vanished from her post at a Massachusetts pond in 2000 has released a new video on the...
Jun 27, 2017 9:23 AMStorms will develop this afternoon. (More)
Jun 26, 2017 4:02 PMA New Hampshire man is being indicted with the second-degree murder and manslaughter of his 3-year-old daughter early last year. (More)
Jun 26, 2017 5:08 PMA neighbor who witnessed the massive fire destroy Stenton Trust Mill said arson was inevitable due to the increased activity inside the abandoned building....
Jun 26, 2017 9:14 AMMassachusetts man drives a personal watercraft up and inside boat full of children on Great Pond. (More)
Jun 25, 2017 11:37 AMIn an effort to crack down on impaired driving, the New Hampshire State Police are setting up a sobriety checkpoint in Nashua. (More)
Jun 24, 2017 9:44 AMThe highest tide of the month flooded parts of Hampton overnight. (More)
Jun 25, 2017 10:40 AMOfficials say a NH man who crashed his boat onto rocks on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee has been charged with operating under the...
Jun 24, 2017 8:51 AMAfter sifting through numerous tips, police believe they have a suspect in the assault of a woman outside of Planet Fitness on June 12....
Jun 23, 2017 11:29 AM38 teenagers were arrested on alcohol-related charges after police broke up a gathering in Georges Mills Thursday night. (More)
Jun 23, 2017 12:14 PMAn inmate who escaped from a transport vehicle Thursday was captured in Concord Friday morning. (More)
Jun 22, 2017 2:40 PMA man was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison for physically overpowering and raping a 14-year-old girl in an unused hallway of...
Jun 22, 2017 12:34 PMAn elderly woman confused the brakes in the car with the gas, launching her into Lake Winnipesaukee. (More)
Jun 21, 2017 8:49 AMMost Granite Staters have encountered a tick at least once in their lifetime, but a meat allergy caused by a bite from a southeastern...
Jun 22, 2017 9:37 AMWhile Manchester PD arrests 5 people for prostitution, undercover detective offered heroin and discovers man with crystal methamphetamine. (More)
Jun 22, 2017 6:20 PMThe United States Marshal's office is searching for an escaped inmate who may be in the area of Belknap or Merrimack counties. (More)
Jun 21, 2017 6:19 PMBefore planning a day trip to a New Hampshire beach or pond, make sure to check that the water is not contaminated with fecal...
Jun 22, 2017 9:47 AMThe Department of Health and Human Services report a syphilis outbreak in the state, which is consistent with the national trend. (More)
Jun 21, 2017 3:57 PMDuring an interview, an abused child told detectives the man 'always hurts me almost every time' the two are together. (More)
Jun 21, 2017 3:42 PMWho is Christina Fay? What we know about her before she was arrested for housing 84 Great Danes in deplorable conditions at her Wolfeboro...
Jun 21, 2017 11:51 AMA potential funnel cloud was caught on camera. (More)
Jun 21, 2017 12:22 PMOn Tuesday afternoon police arrested a man for allegedly abusing a young boy he was watching. (More)
Jun 20, 2017 2:06 PM15,351 students at the University of New Hampshire can sleep peacefully knowing their campus has been ranked as the safest school in the Uunited...
Jun 20, 2017 3:45 PMPolice are looking to speak with a Somersworth woman after finding a car involved in a hit-and-run that killed a 71-year-old woman. (More)
Jun 20, 2017 11:39 AMTwo young children were present when police searched a Massachusetts apartment Monday night and arrested a man on multiple drug distribution charges. (More)
Jun 20, 2017 2:28 PMNew Hampshire State Police are hoping that video surfaced out of California may help lead to clues to solve the case of a serial...
Jun 19, 2017 1:13 PMA New Hampshire school district is mourning the loss of their superintendent after he died from a sudden illness. (More)
Jun 19, 2017 8:11 AMWhile investigating suspected money laundering, FBI recorded the man claiming he won money while in Colorado hunting Bigfoot. (More)
Jun 19, 2017 12:57 PMMany parents in New Hampshire probably believe their baby is the cutest in the state, but one competition is looking to say otherwise. (More)
Jun 19, 2017 4:30 PMPolice released the identity of a Massachusetts man who was killed after being involved in a three vehicle crash along Route 3A. (More)
Jun 18, 2017 2:32 PMThose looking to adopt the Great Danes rescued at a suspected New Hampshire puppy mill may have to wait up to a year to...
Jun 18, 2017 8:42 PMThunderstorms are likely to be strong Monday afternoon and evening. (More)
Jun 19, 2017 12:25 PMA Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for all of New Hampshire until 8 p.m. Monday. (More)
Jun 18, 2017 10:23 AMThe Somersworth Police Department are searching for the suspected driver who hit and killed a pedestrian. (More)
Jun 18, 2017 12:11 PMThree New Hampshire teenagers have been charged with assaulting a popular street performer in Boston who plays music while dressed as a bear. (More)
Jun 18, 2017 10:46 AMOfficers arrested three men at a New Hampshire homeless shelter after they resisted arrest by trying to take an officer's gun and hitting officers,...
Jun 18, 2017 11:17 AMDonations to The Humane Society of the United States helped ease the rescue of 84 Great Danes from a New Hampshire puppy mill. (More)