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PNS Daily Newscast - September 24, 2020 


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Report: Cutting Medicaid Threatens NH Workforce, Families

May 13, 2011

CONCORD, N.H. - More than 40,000 people in New Hampshire rely on Medicaid for long-term health care, but a new report shows that the cuts and changes under consideration could be damaging.

The state- and federally funded program provides health coverage for New Hampshire seniors and people with disabilities. According to the Families USA report, cutting Medicaid would seriously jeopardize not only the people who rely on the program for long-term health care but also families, caretakers, and the job market for caregivers.

Sarah Chaisson Warner, executive director of New Hampshire Citizen's Alliance, says about 220,000 people in New Hampshire are taking care of a loved one.

"Medicaid provides families and caregivers with the opportunity to maintain their full-time or part-time jobs while also taking care of their family member, and this has ripple effects throughout our economy."

Medicaid in New Hampshire helps defray costs for people and families who in turn are able to spend more in other areas and contribute to the economy, Chaisson Warner says. According to the report, about 44 percent of Medicaid spending in New Hampshire covers long-term care for people to stay in their homes and in the community, and keeps almost 9,000 people out of nursing homes.

New Hampshire has about 13,000 long-term care workers, according to the report, including nurses, nursing aides and personal-care attendants. Chaisson Warner says New Hampshire will need to increase this workforce 38.5 percent by 2016 to handle the aging population.

"This is a growing job area, and if we cut back on Medicaid and this job development opportunity, what we're really doing is saying we'd like to stay in the recession that we're in."

Medicaid helps pay for these workers, Chaisson Warner says, and cutting the program would damage the state's job market. GOP leaders say the Republican-backed plan to convert Medicaid to a block-grant system where each state is given a set amount will save taxpayers billions of dollars during the next decade.

The report from Families USA is online at familiesusa2.org.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - NH