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Medicaid Expansion Public Hearing Draws Backers, Critics


During a Senate committee meeting in Concord on Tuesday, the public had its first chance to weigh in on the Medicaid expansion plan backed by leaders in both parties. 

A wide range of voices spoke favorably of the bill that relies on private insurance for new recipients, including medical providers, hospital executives and business owners.

Justin VanEtten of Meredith runs a private ambulance company, and says despite his philosophical opposition to Obamacare, he backs bringing federal tax dollars into the state.

“Do you do the wrong thing for New Hampshire just to prove Obama wrong? Or do you do the right thing for New Hampshire, and let Washington deal with its own problems because we can’t solve Washington’s problems here?” asks VanEtten.

But Senator Andy Sanborn, a Republican from Bedford, says this expansion plan won’t solve the major issues facing the state, including New Hampshire’s high cost medical care.

“Its numbers are flawed. Its premises are not correct. It doesn’t make for a healthier population in the state of New Hampshire.”

If adopted by lawmakers, Medicaid expansion would begin this summer for an estimated 50,000 low income residents, and sunset in 2016.

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