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Executive Council approves special legislative session Nov. 7

CONCORD – The Executive Council approved calling lawmakers back to Concord next month to act on a proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.

The special session will be held between Nov. 7 and 21.

The council voted 4-1 to approve Gov. Maggie Hassan's request which is required under the state constitution as one way to hold a special session of the Legislature. District 3 Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, R-Newfields, was the lone dissenting vote.

"With $2.5 billion in federal funds available to expand health coverage for up to 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters, we have a significant opportunity to improve the health and financial well-being of our families, strengthen our economy, and improve our state's financial future," Hassan said in a statement.

A commission studying expansion proposes using private insurers through the new health insurance exchange and the Health Insurance Premium Payment program that pays premiums for those on their employers' health plans to expand the program along with traditional Medicaid services.

If Medicaid eligibility is expanded, about 49,000 people would be added to the program, and the state's health care providers would receive $2.4 billion in federal money over the next seven years.

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