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RELEASE: Senator Martha Fuller Clark Introduces Bill to Reauthorize Medicaid Expansion Law

CONCORD – Senator Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth) introduced SB 236, a bill to grant a two year reauthorization of New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion law. Senator Fuller Clark offered the following comments on the bill:

“The success of New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion law has been touted by both Republicans and Democrats. 50,000 people rely on Medicaid expansion for their healthcare and nearly 10,000 patients are able to treat substance addiction through this Medicaid. New Hampshire’s business community, including the Business and Industry Association, has called on legislators to continue the state’s successful expansion program because it’s reducing heath care cost-shifting onto our families and businesses, strengthening the health of our workforce, and boosting our economy,” said Senator Fuller Clark, prime sponsor of the bill.

The expansion law is set to terminate in December 2018. Experts have warned that the uncertainty surrounding the continuation of coverage under current statute affects insurance companies’ decisions and could lead to increased rates for all Granite Staters in the private market. New Hampshire’s successful expansion of Medicaid has been credited with a dramatic decrease in emergency room visits by uninsured patients and as the single most important step in combating the state’s heroin and opioid epidemic.

“Given the measurable successes of our temporary extension of Medicaid expansion, I think it is clear that the next step is to permanently extend the law for the benefit of tens of thousands of hardworking Granite Staters. I hope that my colleagues will give this measure their full consideration and support.”

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