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Letter: In Support of N.H. Medicaid Expansion

To the Editor:

The proposed expansion of New Hampshire’s Medicaid program would provide coverage to individuals earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level and has the support of the New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association because it would remove financial barriers to appropriate health care. As Mary Bidgood Wilson, an advanced practice registered nurse, noted in a timely op-ed in the Concord Monitor, the proposed expansion would allow tens of thousands of New Hampshire citizens who do not have health insurance to gain access to important preventive services, timely acute-care services and ongoing chronic-illness management. This would result in better health outcomes for these individuals in the short and long term.

However, the benefits of this expansion would not stop with the people who are receiving care. Taxpayers and businesses would also be beneficiaries. The expansion would be funded entirely by federal money during the first three years. Even after that, the federal government would pick up no less than 90 percent of the costs (as opposed to the current 50 percent federal Medicaid share).

Small businesses would benefit as the productivity of their lower-income workers would be enhanced by newfound access to health insurance (and without increased cost to the employee or the employer).

As front-line providers of health care services to New Hampshire residents, New Hampshire’s more than 2,000 advanced practice registered nurses (nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and certified registered nurse anesthetists who hold the New Hampshire license abbreviation of APRN) have made clear our commitment to working with the state to ensure the workforce demands of this expansion will be met because we are convinced that this is one of the most important public health measures to have come before the state in many years.

I, along with my APRN colleagues, ask the Legislature to join us in committing to make this proposal a reality.

Carol Williams-Suich, APRN

Family and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner

Lebanon

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