N.H. Lawmakers Debate Repealing Medicaid Expansion Work Requirement

Feb 6, 2019

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

An effort to undo a new work-requirement in the state's Medicaid expansion program went before lawmakers today.

The work requirement was part of a bipartisan compromise that re-authorized expanded Medicaid last session.

Starting next month some Medicaid Expansion recipients will need to complete 100 hours of work or volunteer work each month or risk losing their health coverage.

Democratic Representative Rebecca McWilliams is sponsoring a bill to strip that work requirement out of the program. She told a committee of fellow lawmakers Wednesday the requirement will penalize New Hampshire residents who are already struggling and could even put them at serious health risk.

“If you get kicked off the program, you're not seeing your PCP anymore, you're not involved, you could die. And I think that's serious,” said McWilliams.

She also argued that as a first-year lawmaker she isn't beholden to that bipartisan compromise which approved the work requirement last session.

“So I'm here with a fresh perspective, a fresh voice, and I'm telling you that the best thing we can do is strike it altogether.”

Meanwhile state Republicans issued a statement saying they will strongly oppose the bill, as well as another bill in the Senate that seeks to alter the work requirement.