CONCORD, NH – Below are remarks made April 6 by Gov.Chris Sununu at a news conference on substance abuse disorder and the state’s Alcohol Fund. Sununu was joined by Senate President Chuck Morse, HHS Commissioner Jeff Meyers, and New Hampshire Healthcare Executives. Below is a reaction to the announcement from New Futures:
Today is an exciting and important morning for the State of New Hampshire, especially those struggling with substance use disorder. I’m pleased to be joined this morning by the New Hampshire Hospital Association and key leaders in the healthcare field.
Since the legislature established it in 2000, an intense discussion has taken place about how and whether to fully invest in the Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment Fund which provides valuable resources to fight addiction and substance use disorder here in New Hampshire. Last year for the first time, I was able to double the funds for this crisis to about $7 million. But the debate is always there as to how we get to a fully funded system determined as a percentage of revenue.
I am very proud to announce that as of today that debate is over. In partnership with the New Hampshire Hospital Association, we have secured certainty to ensure that this fund will be fully funded for the next 5 years. Period. No more debates or arguments.
This is the single biggest secured financial investment the state has ever achieved in funding substance use disorder programs. Approximately $50 million over the next 5 years and we are doing it the New Hampshire way – through partnership with the community.
This is a great example for planning for the long term, thinking creatively, and simply not accepting the way we used to do it.
Our partners in the healthcare industry have stepped forward to support the health of the citizens of New Hampshire by making a substantial investment into addressing the substance use disorder crisis.
Following yesterday’s strong vote from the House of Representatives in support of the Granite Advantage Health Care Program, we are very confident with its prospects moving forward and we look forward to working with our colleagues in the House Finance Committee to successfully finishing that process.
I’m very excited about this opportunity and the relationship between the State of New Hampshire and these healthcare leaders, not only as it pertains to this investment but in working together on other opportunities in the best interest of patient health in the future.
It is an important partnership that we must keep growing. It is imperative that, as leaders, we come together on critical issues such as this and that is what we are doing today.
Statement issued by New Futures
This morning, Governor Sununu, along with New Hampshire Health Care Executives and state officials, announced a plan to ensure continued funding of the Alcohol Fund as part of the reauthorization of Medicaid Expansion. As part of the arrangement, liquor revenues allocated to support Medicaid Expansion will be replaced by New Hampshire hospitals’ support of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs in the Granite State.
The following statement is from Michele Merritt, New Futures’ president and CEO.
Thank you to Governor Sununu, state officials, and New Hampshire’s hospital executives for their commitment to ensuring New Hampshire’s continued progress against the addiction epidemic. New Futures has been steadfast in our commitment to reauthorizing Medicaid Expansion and protecting the integrity and original intent of the Alcohol Fund. There is no question that under this arrangement New Hampshire will be better positioned to turn the tide against addiction. The dedication of New Hampshire’s hospitals to support the innovative prevention, treatment, and recovery programs made possible by a fully-funded Alcohol Fund for the first time since its inception, allows for the reauthorization of Medicaid Expansion without any new taxes, fees, or general funds.”
“Both the Alcohol Fund and Medicaid Expansion are essential to the overall health and wellness of our state. This arrangement, made by our state’s leaders, ensures these two important tools remain available, and we look forward to continuing to work with the State and the medical community to bring an end to this devastating epidemic.”
ABOUT NEW FUTURES
New Futures is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates, educates and collaborates to improve the health and wellness of all New Hampshire residents through policy change.
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