CONCORD, N.H. — The Senate is faced with deciding whether a House-passed bill to cut off taxpayer funding to hospitals, clinics, doctors and others who perform elective abortions will put New Hampshire’s Medicaid program in jeopardy.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hold a hearing on the bill Thursday. The House passed it in January after supporters argued the hospitals and other providers could create separate business entities to provide elective abortions.

State officials believe the bill could jeopardize New Hampshire’s $1.4 billion annual Medicaid program because states aren’t allowed to exclude providers from the program based solely on the range of services provided.

Republican House Speaker William O’Brien says the House doesn’t want to jeopardize the program, but he needs to be convinced that is the case.

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