Contact: Sen. Bob Clegg

(603) 271 – 2111

March 22, 2006

Senate Republicans took thoughtful steps today to prepare for possible increases in

New Hampshire Healthy Kids enrollment

Concord , NH – Through passage of a floor amendment, the Senate Republican Leadership ensured that the funds needed to cover any child that qualifies for state assistance will receive the appropriate healthcare coverage.

New Hampshire Healthy Kids Corporation (NHHK) was established by special legislative act in 1993. The Corporation receives a 501c(3) tax-exempt determination by the Internal Revenue Service. NHHK is governed by a 17-member volunteer Board of Directors comprised of six representatives of state government, seven appointees of specific constituent organizations, and four members at-large elected by the Board.

Majority Leader Bob Clegg (R-Hudson) said, “The Legislature has gone above and beyond to work with New Hampshire Healthy kids, and we are being accused of  ‘not adequately funding NHHK.’ That couldn’t be further from the truth.” Clegg continued, “This is why we supported the floor amendment today -- it gives the tools to the Commissioner of Health and Human Services to negotiate with payment providers and when needed ask the Legislature for additional dollars.”

New Hampshire Healthy Kids Silver is a program that covers approximately 6,000 children in the Granite State. And with passage of this legislation today, it directs Department of Health and Human Services to amend the contract and provide a full appropriation as approved by the Legislature for the Healthy Kids Silver program.

Clegg concluded, “The Legislature has and will continue to honor arrangements with NHHK. But I am remiss if I don’t emphasize my frustrations toward the lack of leadership NHHK demonstrates. Each and every time they come before the Legislature, they are working with inaccurate figures, which changes the outlook of the program from meeting to meeting. This leaves the Legislature no choice but to implement safeguards that will ensure that the at-risk children are protected.”

SB374 now moves to the House of Representatives and the Senate is hopeful for House passage of this important bill.