House Republicans Comment on ACA Related State Budget Concerns

CONCORD – Today House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and House Finance Committee Ranking Republican Neal Kurk (R-Weare) offered the following comments relative to news that enrollment in the State’s traditional Medicaid program has spiked, in part due to the ACA related individual mandates, and that DHHS is facing a $37 million budget shortfall.

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“For months prior to Obamacare mandates taking effect, we were warned that an enrollment surge was a likely possibility. Now we’re faced with another potential state budget breaker largely as a result of this unpopular federal law. It’s great that the federal government is picking up 50% of the cost for this pool of new enrollees, but states shouldn’t have been expected to absorb all of this excess in cost all at once. This situation is essentially an unfunded mandate, made possible by a poorly conceived law.”

House Finance Committee Ranking Republican Neal Kurk (R-Weare)

“It’s safe to say that the DHHS estimates for increased enrollment in traditional Medicaid were too low. While it’s never easy to make predictions with 100% certainty, this surge was not unexpected. Health care experts had been warning that, with all of the attention being given to ObamaCare, individuals eligible for traditional Medicaid would “come out of the woodwork” in droves. The experts were right. This is not a temporary problem. New Hampshire taxpayers will have to continue to fund the state’s share of the cost to provide care for many of these new enrollees into the foreseeable future.”

“We can only hope that enrollment estimates for the new, three-year, expanded Medicaid program don’t follow suit. That would be very expensive for taxpayers, as they must pick up 10% of the cost of the program should it be made permanent by the legislature.”