N.H. Health, Business Leaders Call for Permanent Reauthorization of Medicaid Expansion
January 4, 2023
CONCORD, N.H. – This morning, as New Hampshire lawmakers gathered to convene the 2023 Legislative Session, leading health care providers, business leaders, advocates, and Medicaid participants joined together to call for the permanent reauthorization of Medicaid expansion.
The Granite Advantage Health Care Program, New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion, which currently provides insurance coverage for more than 93,000 Granite Staters in need, is set to expire at the end of 2023. Without legislative action, the program will cease and nearly one out of every 15 Granite Staters will lose access to primary health care, mental health and substance use treatment, oral and emergency care, and other critical health services.
“To the advocates, folks with lived experience, the New Hampshire policymakers who enacted Medicaid expansion in our state, and those who are moving forward legislation to reauthorize it without a sunset date – thank you,” said Susan Stearns, Executive Director of NAMI New Hampshire and the mother of an adult child who accessed mental health services through Medicaid expansion. “Words cannot express the gratitude that this mother has for the safety net that Medicaid expansion has provided to my child.”
At the press conference, Medicaid participants, family members, and leaders from NAMI New Hampshire, Amoskeag Health, Riverbend Community Mental Health, Waypoint, and the Business & Industry Association, among others, discussed the importance of reauthorizing Granite Advantage during the 2023 session and preserving health care coverage for thousands in need.
Kris McCracken, President & CEO, Amoskeag Health (Manchester): “The Granite Advantage Health Care Program has expanded services to our community members exponentially, allowing us to open a clinic on the west side of Manchester. The financial security for our health center and gains in access to care for our patients demonstrate that Medicaid expansion is a matter of life and death for many Granite Staters.”
Lisa Madden, President & CEO, Riverbend Community Mental Health (Concord): “The benefits of the Granite Advantage Health Care Program for NH residents who need mental health care and substance abuse and addiction treatment services are significant. Without it, many would literally be out on the street. The program is a lifeline for many individuals in need of treatment and it needs to be made permanent, this year.”
Keith Kuenning: Advocacy Director, Waypoint: “We know that Medicaid expansion is critical not just to adults but also to the health and well-being of children. When parents gain coverage, they are more likely to enroll their children and to take their children to the doctor. This has demonstrated an increase in well-child visits for children in Medicaid expansion states.”
David Juvet, Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Business & Industry Association: “The economic impact would be dramatic if Medicaid expansion is not reauthorized. Not only would this be catastrophic for the state’s hospitals, which are often the largest employers in the communities they are located, but it would be bad for the state. New Hampshire would be losing upwards of $500 million – half a billion dollars – in federal funding that comes into New Hampshire to help support Medicaid expansion.”
Amber MacQuarrie, a Medicaid participant and single parent from Dublin who relied on Medicaid expansion to cover heart surgery several years ago: “The need to reauthorize Medicaid expansion is not isolated to my little family. We’re not that special. We’re just a small example in this big country that illustrates the need. I, along with my kids, deserve to have our medical needs met, no matter what they are.”