NH House Leaders Comment on Bill to Expand Religious Freedom from Insurance Mandates

CONCORD – House Deputy Speaker Pamela Tucker (R-Greenland) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today commented on the passage of House Bill 1546, which would recodify the laws relative to religious societies and adding a religious exemption to the insurance mandates relative to coverage for contraception. The bill passed 196 to 150.

House Deputy Speaker Pamela Tucker

“House Bill 1677 is not about the merits of contraception.  It is not about whether insurers choose to offer coverage for these services in their policies. This stands up for our religious institutions that have long-held principles and teachings under assault and for their religious liberties. Imposing anti-religious regulations on churches achieves no reduction of costs or availability of services, it only serves to please those pushing a political agenda. Health insurance costs in New Hampshire are increasing at dramatic rates. New Hampshire businesses are seeing 60% premium increases. A considerable portion of those increases can be chalked up to state health insurance mandates implemented during the prior four years’ Democrat legislatures and those need to be repealed.  Earlier this legislative session, we passed legislation that repealed seven insurance mandates and this has helped small businesses to escape some costs increases. The extra savings from premiums may even mean there is more money in the pockets of our small businesses to create more jobs and is the right way to reform the health care industry.  Resorting to distortions such as any allegation that this is about denying women’s health or is an anti-contraception issue is intellectually dishonest.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“The reason this issue has come to light now is because ObamaCare is forcing people to buy health insurance. No religious intuition or employer should be forced to pay for services the find morally objectionable, and with this bill we will have paved the way on the state level. This bill has sent a clear message that here in New Hampshire we value our citizens and employers right to religious liberties. New Hampshire has a long and proud history of religious tolerance, and with the passage of this bill we will continue to support and preserve that proud history. Repealing health insurance mandates will reduce the cost of healthcare to individuals and businesses in the right way as opposed to how Washington intends to provide healthcare, which is to force Obamacare on our citizens with individual mandates.”