CONCORD – The House today voted 261 to 104 to direct New Hampshire's Executive Council to return $666 thousand in planning funds sent to the state by the federal government for the purpose of implementing an insurance exchange for Obamacare. Following the vote, House leaders released the following statements:
“This bill sends the Obamacare money back to Washington with specific instructions to use it to reduce our massive federal deficit. Obamacare has been found unconstitutional by two federal courts and we are awaiting the final decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Spending that sort of money to comply with a mandate that is three years away and stands on very shaky ground makes no sense. It is irresponsible to knowingly waste tax dollars, be it state or federal, when we face historic budget deficits in Washington and Concord. No bit of money should be considered ‘insignificant’ in the ongoing discussions of balancing the budget. We simply have to be better stewards of taxpayer money,” said House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon).
“Obamacare increases the federal deficit by over $700 billion over the next decade and it will increase, not decrease, premiums. I am pleased that the House sent a message today that we‘re not interested in federal money with strings attached and that we will fight to preserve our sovereignty. The House stood firm on its position that, without exception, Obamacare is unconstitutional and wrong for New Hampshire. Accepting these federal funds would crack open the door to Obamacare in New Hampshire and begin a process that would be very hard to slow down or reverse. No matter who designed the exchange it would surely be detrimental to the state’s health care system and the economy, and extremely expensive for the taxpayers of New Hampshire. The public resentment to Obamacare is one of the main reasons why the public supported Republicans last November. It is clear our taxpayers don’t want their money spent on this disastrous scheme by the Democrats to control our health care,” said House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem).