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Medicaid Expansion Commission Starts Meetings

A commission created to study the expansion of Medicaid in New Hampshire is meeting for the first time today. Commission members will have to be asked to dispassionately weigh what has become a highly partisan issue.

The voting members of the commission include six state lawmakers – three democrats and three republicans – two representatives of the healthcare industry, and a policy expert from a conservative think tank.

The battle lines over expanding government health insurance for low-income people tend to fall along party lines, but seacoast Republican Senator Nancy Stiles says she doesn’t believe the outcome of the study commission is predetermined by its makeup.

“I hope we all go in an open mind and try to figure out what is the very best thing to do,” she told NHPR in a phone interview Friday, “How to move forward to help citizens that need help but also not put New Hampshire in a position where it’s not going to be picking up the cost of everything down the road.

The commission will begin by selecting a chairperson and setting the scope of study.

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