New Hampshire lawmakers reached a deal Thursday to make their state the latest to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.
The Associated Press reported that the Republican and Democratic state Senate leaders announced the decision. The state plans to adopt a privatized version of the expansion, using Medicaid dollars to pay for residents to buy private coverage on HealthCare.gov. The Obama administration has already allowed Arkansas to adopt the same proposal.
Republican lawmakers, who blocked the traditional expansion last year in the GOP-controlled Senate, insisted on pursuing the private model. The expansion will cover nearly 50,000 people.
New Hampshire would become the 26th state, including Washington, D.C., to expand Medicaid under the health care reform law after the legislation is passed. Utah and Pennsylvania are also currently working on expansion proposals.
Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) voiced her support in her State of the State speech on Thursday.
‘‘With today’s positive step forward, it’s clear that we can work through this together and help working people access critical health coverage,’’ she said.