So, what does this all mean? Oddly enough, if a full-fledged recovery were underway, the unemployment rate would actually start to increase. Given the anemic job growth since the recession officially ‘ended’, many job seekers gave up looking for work entirely and dropped out of the labor force. The current method of calculating the unemployment does not count those people as unemployed, leaving roughly 1,500,000 million people out of the equation.
The first two years save New Hampshire $10 million; this is the period that the Federal government pays 100% of Medicaid costs. After this though, the state first pays 5%, then 10% of the cost. Year six will cost New Hampshire $27 million, and when N.H. settles into its 10% share of the pay in year seven, the cost will be at least $40 million annually
I say this as the Republican leader in the Maine House of Representatives and as someone who has served on my state’s Appropriations Committee, where we spent countless late nights trying to patch the Medicaid-induced leaks in our state budget after past expansions.
Politics and governing aren’t the same thing, but they are inevitably intertwined. As much as we would like otherwise, political considerations often drive policy decisions. Sometimes the repercussions are small. In the pending decision over Medicaid expansion, however, the stakes are huge and it would be a serious mistake for Republicans in the state Senate to make this a political decision.
January saw 5,417 Granite Staters select an insurance policy on the federal exchange. Since open enrollment began in October a total of 16,863 have selected coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services with each successive monthly report continues to add more demographic data, giving a more detailed look at the insurance pool and what type of coverage they have purchased.
The recently announced deal in the New Hampshire Senate of a “framework” to expand Medicaid is a bad deal for our state’s future. The fundamental problem is not just that the plan implements a key component of Obamacare here, but it continues to build on a profoundly flawed Medicaid program desperately in need of reform.