Over the past two weeks as Congressman Paul Hodes aggressively defined the debate over health care, Republican Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte has been forced to play defense. Most recently, after pressure from Democrats, she resorted to supporting a parliamentary obstructionist memo circulated by the national Republican establishment. A few clips below:
NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER
“During a conference call with reporters, Hodes singled out Republican candidate Kelly Ayotte, but also accused all her GOP primary opponents of caving in to insurance company pressure to allow interstate sales of health insurance that he said would thwart efforts by New Hampshire regulators to enforce state insurance laws. Hodes said Ayotte and the GOP seem intent on "keeping the status quo, or taking us backwards . . . It's the wrong approach." Hodes said the Democratic plan has the right approach to reform, protecting women's health coverage and state regulations.”
“Democratic leaders pounced this week on Ayotte for supporting the Republican playbook on health care reform. The strategy includes opposing health care mandates. New Hampshire is one of about 20 states in the U.S. that places extensive mandates on insurers who write business in the small-business market. “Kelly Ayotte’s plan will help insurance companies continue to deny care to New Hampshire families while eliminating New Hampshire protections that require insurance companies to cover breast cancer treatment, prenatal care, and diabetes coverage,’’ said Mark Bergman, communications director for Democratic Senate hopeful Paul Hodes. ‘’Her plan won’t cover pre-existing conditions and would allow health care costs to continue to spiral out of control for New Hampshire small businesses. Kelly Ayotte’s health care plan is written by the insurance companies and for the insurance companies.” After months of taking hits on their health care plan, Hodes and Democratic leaders are hitting back hard.”
“Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes is going after Republican Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte on health care. Hodes, so far the only Democrat running for the Senate, jumped on Ayotte's comments last week that the Democrats' health care reform plan ignores "commonsense solutions" including "reducing the number of mandates so that we have greater policy choices." The Hodes camp interpreted Ayotte's remarks to mean "no mandates." As in, roll back New Hampshire's mandates on women's ob-gyn care, prenatal care and breast cancer screenings. "I frankly am disappointed that Kelly Ayotte . . . apparently supports a position that would roll back critical protections for New Hampshire families," Hodes told reporters. "When they talk about removing man-dates from insurance companies, they want to take us back to a place worse than the status quo."
NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER OP-ED
“The insurance companies and their allies in New Hampshire, like Kelly Ayotte and her Republican opponents, want to preserve the status quo. They want to let the insurance companies drop your coverage when you get sick. They want to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Their plan is not reform. It will eliminate crucial New Hampshire consumer protections that require insurance companies to cover health services like pre-natal care, pregnancy care and ob-gyn coverage. Their plan is written by the insurance companies, for the insurance companies.”
FOSTER’S DAILY DEMOCRAT
“Rep. Hodes commented today on the memo that Sen. Gregg has circulated among The Minority (which was linked to from here earlier today): "Senator Gregg's letter outlining tactics to delay health care reform is everything that is wrong with Washington. The American people want real reform, not Washington-style partisan delay tactics. Washington Republicans don't have a real plan to help millions of Americans struggling with spiraling costs for health care. They don't have a plan to help millions of Americans who don't have access to critical care. Their plan is partisan attacks, delay tactics, and insurance company give-aways. Kelly Ayotte, Ovide Lamontagne and their Republican opponents should denounce Senator Gregg's delay tactics for what they are: a Washington insider strategy that puts partisanship above affordable quality health care. The American people want health care reform. They don't want Washington style tactics delaying real progress and results for the American people."
NEW HAMPSHIRE POLITICAL REPORT
“Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Paul Hodes is accusing his potential Republican opponent Kelly Ayotte of trying to "roll back" health insurance coverage. Ayotte said it is a false negative attack. "I am so disappointed that Kelly Ayotte and her Republican opponents support a plan that would roll back vital protections for New Hampshire families," Hodes said during a conference call with reporters. "Their plan wouldn't cover preexisting conditions and could allow insurance companies to deny coverage for women seeking critical treatments like prenatal care, pregnancy care, and breast cancer screenings." With his statement Hodes is lumping Ayotte in with some Congressional members and not her own statements. That said, Ayotte -- or any candidate -- has not released a comprehensive health care plan. It is likely that health care won't even be debated when one of them is elected.”