Senior Policy Analyst
New Hampshire’s legislature has passed and Governor Maggie Hassan has signed into law legislation that will expand Medicaid as part of health reform effective July 1. This means that combined with Michigan, where expansion takes effect tomorrow, an additional 600,000 uninsured people will be newly eligible for Medicaid coverage. It also means a majority of states have taken health reform’s Medicaid expansion, as our map shows.
For policymakers in Maine, Missouri, Utah, Virginia, and other states currently debating whether to expand, the news from New Hampshire and Michigan offers important lessons:
New Hampshire likely will gain federal approval for its demonstration project because it steered clear of onerous provisions being discussed in other states that would make it difficult, if not impossible, for people to gain and maintain coverage. For example, policymakers in Pennsylvania and Missouri have discussed tying people’s Medicaid eligibility and premium obligations to whether they are working or actively looking for work. Such provisions have no relation to the purpose of Medicaid, which is to provide health coverage to people with low incomes.