Substance Abuse Crisis Could Shape N.H.'s Medicaid Expansion Debate

Sep 23, 2015


Credit Daniel S. Hurd

With a battle looming over Medicaid expansion, supporters say the state's ability to tackle the drug abuse crisis will suffer if the program ends.

More than 40,000 people are insured under the Medicaid expansion program, which began in 2014. Unlike traditional Medicaid, it covers substance abuse treatment and recovery programs. But the program is set to expire at the end of 2016 if lawmakers fail to reauthorize it.

With more than 320 overdose deaths last year in New Hampshire, Medicaid expansion's effect on treatment and recovery could become a central point of the debate.

Continuing the program is a top priority for Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan, and some Republicans say they want to continue the program if they can show it's working.