Governor Hassan issued the following statement today on the start of a special session of the State Legislature to consider Medicaid expansion:
"With more than $2.4 billion in federal funds available to expand Medicaid, we have a critical opportunity to improve the health and financial well-being of over 50,000 hard-working people while boosting our economy and creating hundreds of jobs.
"These are real people and families whose quality of life will be truly strengthened -- working men and women, taxpayers, who deserve the security of health insurance. They are our healthcare workers, restaurant employees, construction workers, retail clerks. They work in our schools and local grocery stores. People who struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table while earning less than $16,000 a year. And when they need health care, without insurance those costs are shifted to all of our people and businesses.
"For every day that we delay past January 1, we stand to lose at least half a million federal dollars per day that New Hampshire can never recover. Those are funds that Granite State taxpayers contributed to and that our people and economy need.
"After months of study, a bipartisan commission has designed a road map to a New Hampshire plan for Medicaid expansion. I commend Representative Sherman and House leadership for introducing a bill that builds on the study commission's recommendations to provide a workable, fiscally responsible path forward that works for New Hampshire, protecting our state budget and encouraging private insurance.
"I am also encouraged by Senate leadership's constructive approach and willingness to work together toward a bipartisan agreement. I remain open to ideas to strengthen a New Hampshire plan, as long as those ideas are workable, cost effective, and in the best interest of our people.
"We cannot let this opportunity for tens of thousands of our friends and neighbors pass us by. If we remained focused on the New Hampshire traditions of cooperation and bipartisan problem solving, we can do the right thing to boost our economy, strengthen our healthcare system, and improve the health and financial well-being of our working families."