Policy Documents

Expanding Medicaid will Hurt New Hampshire’s Families with Lower Incomes and Fewer Jobs

Wendy P. Warcholik –
February 17, 2014

Many of New Hampshire’s policymakers have already fallen for the siren call of Medicaid expansion as provided for under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). At first glance, expanding New Hampshire’s Medicaid program looks like free money since Uncle Sam has promised to pick up the entire tab for the first three years. Who doesn’t like free money?

In reality, nothing is free. New Hampshire, like many of its neighboring states, would growing increasingly dependent on Medicaid and would pay a steep economic price as public sector spending crowds out the private sector (see Methodology section for details). As shown in Chart 1, New Hampshire’s private sector has declined by 15.5 percent to 76.7 percent in 2012 from 90.8 percent in 1929. Despite the decline, New Hampshire had the largest private sector in the county in 2012 (see Table 1).