Lawmakers Object to Trump Administration Changes to N.H.'s Medicaid Expansion Program

Dec 20, 2018

Credit Dan Tuohy/NHPR

State lawmakers are pushing back against changes made by the Trump administration to a new work requirement in the state’s expanded Medicaid program.

Members of the committee that oversees administrative rules unanimously objected to the changes the Trump administration introduced when it approved the work requirement for Medicaid expansion last month.

Democratic Senator and committee member Dan Feltes said the changes, which make the work requirement more stringent, undermine the political compromise that passed Medicaid expansion last year.

“To be changing New Hampshire’s work requirement, our bipartisan work requirement, it’s just outrageous,” said Feltes.

While the committee vote objecting to the changes was bipartisan, Republican leaders issued a statement  calling the vote a political stunt led by Democrats.

Meanwhile, state Health Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers says his department is bound to implement the new rules regardless of the objection.

“I understand what was said and respect their opinion, but we’ve got a job to do and we’re going to go ahead and do it,” said Meyers.

Meyers also said he plans for the work requirement to take effect beginning on March 1st of next year.

“We’re going to continue now and continue to implement the program. We’re not going to stop any of our efforts with respect to education and outreach and readiness."

Once the requirement begins, certain Medicaid expansion beneficiaries will need to complete 100 hours of so-called "community engagement" each month or risk losing their insurance coverage.