Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Join as a $13-a-month sustainer and get the retro NHPR t-shirt!

To Expand (Medicaid) Or Not To Expand

Lawmakers will decide this spring whether to expand the state’s Medicaid program to include childless adults making less than roughly $15,000. To make sure they have all the information they need, the Department of Health and Human Services commissioned a study to look at the effects.

We poured over the 61-page report, and boiled it down to these 5 takeaways.

  1. Expansion will cost the state $85 million between 2014 and 2020.  Not expanding saves the state $65 million over the same period.
  2. There are currently 170,000 uninsured people in New Hampshire. If the state expands Medicaid, that number drops to about 71,000. If the state doesn't expand, the number drops to roughly 93,000, a difference in the lives of 22,000 people.
  3. No matter what the state does, the Affordable Care Act will mean jobs in New Hampshire's health care sector. 5,100 if the state expands. About 700 fewer if it doesn't.
  4. According to the report, hospitals in New Hampshire stand to profit more if the state doesn't expand the program. This came as something of a surprise, as that sector has been a major supporter of expansion. The number-crunchers find that expansion would increase hospital net incomes by $113 million, compared with $158 million if the state doesn't expand.
  5. The total impact of expansion on the budget, due to cost savings in other areas, will be a modest hit of $18 million. But it would mean an additional $2.8 billion added to the state's economy.