NH House Commerce Committee Votes to Prohibit ObamaCare Exchanges in New Hampshire

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien, House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, and Rep. Andrew Manuse offered the following statement on their cosponsored House Bill 1297, which would prohibit the implementation of healthcare exchanges in New Hampshire. The House Commerce and Consumers Affairs Committee voted 10-6 to recommend passage of the bill when it comes to the full House.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“House Bill 1297 will slow the progress of Obamacare in New Hampshire by prohibiting state officials from implementing or aiding the federal government in implementing a state exchange. Creating an exchange would only entrench ObamaCare in New Hampshire and serve as a contract with the federal government that the state agrees to pick up the tab for the healthcare mandate. Several times the House has asked our Attorney General to join the 26-state lawsuit against Obamacare. If we truly want to do this, we should not adopt a strategy that will make us complicit in the law we're trying to overturn. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear this case in March and it makes no sense to waste taxpayer money, federal or otherwise, on a law that might not stand.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“President Obama is cheering on the creation of state exchanges, because each state that creates one makes his dream of implementing Obamacare closer to reality. It is easier to repeal a theoretical bureaucracy than a real one. Obamacare says that the states must meet certain federal standards or give way to further federal takeover. The bottom line is this: as far as these exchanges go, there is no such thing as local control. Let's keep up our promises to voters by passing this law and prohibiting the State of New Hampshire from creating a state exchange that would be the nail in the coffin of the New Hampshire Advantage.”

Rep. Andrew Manuse, House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee

“Exchanges were installed as a ruse to trick State Legislatures into voluntarily accepting the terms of Obamacare, which are otherwise unconstitutional, and to also get state Legislatures to pay for the cost of the health insurance exchange program starting in 2015.

"President Obama used 'local control' rhetoric to encourage states to do all the dirty work of implementing Obamacare for him. His analysis assumed that states would want to adopt their own exchanges to try and maintain control of health care, but in reality, all they would be doing by adopting a state exchange is agreeing to pay for the cost of administering the exchange after a certain year. Thus, the federal cost would be minimal because the major costs would be downshifted to the states. The federal government would maintain control, either way.

"Most importantly, rejecting these state exchanges will add New Hampshire to the list of states opposing this unconstitutional law. By doing this, it doesn't matter how the Supreme Court rules on this law. Because of flaws in the way federal exchanges would be implemented by the law, Congress would have to reopen the law to make changes, and this will give policymakers an opportunity for a better and affordable market-based health reform effort to be advanced.”