Keno Comes To N.H. Cities, N.H. Lawmakers Weigh Medicaid Expansion Fix
On this episode: The lottery game keno heads to individual cities for approval by voters. Supporters hope it will boost local economies, while critics worry about gambling. And later in the show, Senator Jeb Bradley updates us on efforts to improve Medicaid Expansion.
Part 1: Keno Comes To N.H. Towns
Earlier this year the N.H. legislature voted to legalize the lottery game keno, and to use portions of its profits to help fund full-day kindergarten, but cities have the choice whether to allow keno within their borders. (Scroll down to see a map of keno's status in N.H. cities.) Some local leaders worry keno will encourage gambling, while others see the game as an economic boost for both education and the local businesses that will potentially carry the game.
Check out "Keno Will Soon Be Legal In N.H., But What Does This Mean For Residents?" from NHPR's Morning Edition in June, 2017.
- Charlie McIntyre: Director of the N.H. Lottery Commission since 2010.
McIntyre has traveled to cities across the state to explain the benefits of keno. Under new legislation, communities in New Hampshire are guaranteed funding for full-day kindergarten, even if they choose not to adopt keno. (Read NHPR reporter Paige Sutherland's coverage in "Keno May Have the Right Salesman for the Job in N.H.")
- Chris Dwyer: City Councilor for Portsmouth.
The Portsmouth City Council recently rejected a motion to put a question about whether or not to bring keno to the city on their November ballot. Check out coverage from Seacoastonline.com.
Map: What's the status of Keno in NH towns?
N.H. Legislature Task Force Evaluates Medicaid Expansion
Following a recent warning from the federal government about the use of hospital and insurer donations to help fund its Medicaid expansion program, New Hampshire has until 2018 to create a new plan in order to avoid losing federal funding. Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley has been heading up a task force to look at the current plan and come up for potential modifications to Medicaid expansion.
- Since 2014, when the NH Health Protection Program expanded access to Medicaid for adults ages 19-64 who fell below the poverty line ($16,243/yr in 2015), around 50,000 N.H. residents have signed onto the program.
- A report commissioned by the N.H. Insurance Department found that most patients who received services under Medicaid expansion in 2016 were between the ages of 19 and 29, and more expensive than anticipated. The task force has been holding meetings to go over this, and other data, to determine the best path forward for Medicaid expansion in New Hampshire.
- Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley
Bradley is the chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Energy Committee. Read more about the Medicaid task force, the Commission to Evaluate the Effectiveness and Future of the Premium Assistance Program.