Medicaid expansion in NH will benefit many

To the Editor:

Last Tuesday, I went to the State House to give testimony to expand Medicaid in New Hampshire on behalf of my daughter Rosie, who has cystic fibrosis and the hundreds of patients with cystic fibrosis living in New Hampshire.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of 30,000 people across the country.

It is vital that all people living with CF are able to access the quality, specialized care and treatments they need to stay healthy. Maintenance and preventative medication is essential.

According to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, last year, nearly a quarter of people with cystic fibrosis delayed getting medical care or skipped treatments prescribed by a doctor due to cost concerns. Among low-income families this number rose to one in three.

Skipping treatment or delaying care may cause irreversible lung damage and costly hospitalizations.

Expanding Medicaid would ensure that some families dealing with CF would have access to health care they need.

However, this issue effects many more outside the CF community. While at the Statehouse, I listened to people tell stories about their lives and how Medicaid expansion would make a difference to them.

The testimonies were heartbreaking – “ordinary” people who struggled to get by and health insurance was an unaffordable “luxury.” Single mothers working five jobs, waitresses, recovering drug addicts, clergy, para professionals who do so much in our schools – the list is endless!

Medicaid expansion is beyond a health care issue, it is a moral issue. The hospitals, business community, insurance companies, health groups and more, all support expanding Medicaid to New Hampshire residents who are within 138 percent of the poverty line (and that’s not a huge income!).

So I am baffled that there is even a debate about this, it’s common sense, the money will be spent anyway so why not prevent health issues rather than hospitalize!