New Hampshire: Governor Points to Medicaid Expansion as Lever to Address Heroin and Opioid Crisis

In her final State of the State address, Governor Maggie Hassan (D) urged lawmakers to reauthorize the State's Medicaid expansion program past its current December 31, 2016 end date, citing its positive impact on the State's economy, public health, and capacity to deliver substance abuse and behavioral health treatment to combat the State's heroin and opioid crisis. The Governor deemed the crisis "the most urgent public health and public safety challenge facing New Hampshire" and called Medicaid expansion an essential tool in the State's comprehensive approach to addressing it. Since New Hampshire's Medicaid expansion went into effect in April 2014, 46,000 residents have received coverage under the program, including thousands who have obtained substance abuse and behavioral health services. A bill to continue expansion through 2018 was approved by the House's health committee and is now headed to the House Finance Committee. If the bill makes it out of committee, Senate passage is all but ensured, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

New Mexico: Study Finds Medicaid Expansion Is "Paying for Itself"

report by the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) updating a 2012 analysis finds that the State's Medicaid expansion costs are offset by increased revenue and economic gains, and that the program will have a projected total surplus of more than $300 million between fiscal years 2014 and 2020. The analysis considered current and projected enrollment, federal revenue, changes in federal and State uncompensated care programs, and current and projected economic impact of expansion. The study projects deficits from expansion of $21 million in fiscal year 2020 and $51 million in 2021, though the author notes that the study used conservative revenue estimates. In 2014, New Mexico's Medicaid expenditures totaled $4.2 billion.