Manchester, NH - The Ovide for Governor campaign today refuted five more myths claimed by Senator Hassan at this morning's AARP/Concord Chamber/Center for Non-Profit debate:
Maggie Myth #1: As she did in yesterday’s forum on NHPR’s The Exchange, Senator Hassan continues to argue that Ovide’s point that the Affordable Care Act robs over $700 million from Medicare in untrue, citing a PolitiFact report as a source.
FACT: Obamacare, backed by Senator Hassan, takes $716 billion from Medicare. The report cited by Senator Hassan notes clearly, “the law limits payments to health care providers and insurers…to offset costs created by the law (especially coverage for the uninsured) so that the overall law doesn't add to the deficit.” In other words, over $700 billion that would have been used to pay providers to care for our seniors with Medicare will no longer be available. A significant portion of these funding reductions will come from cutting fees paid to doctors, hospitals and nursing homes, driving them to accept fewer Medicare patients and reducing the availability of care.
Maggie Myth #2: Senator Hassan continues to argue that while in the Senate she cut spending. Today, she criticized Ovide for citing the 24% percent spending increase saying, “The only reason you can use that 24% number is because we accepted federal money.”
FACT: Senator Hassan overspent dramatically during her time in office. First, we note that the increase in spending from 2007 to 2009, the years of Senator Hassan’s first budget, was 11% in terms of the total budget and 18.4% in general funds. This increase occurred without an extraordinary influx of federal funds. In her second year, Senator Hassan did take millions in one-time federal stimulus funds and recklessly directed them towards what she knew were to be ongoing expenses. So though the funds did not come from the general fund they were still used to significantly increase operating costs. Moreover, Senator Hassan knowingly set up a deep fiscal hole that a future legislature would be forced to address though either spending or reductions because of her reckless and undisciplined use of one-time federal funds for operating expenses.
The bottom line is simple, however: The 2006/07 budget, written by Republicans, spent a total of $9.3 billion. The 2010/11 budget, the second written by Senator Hassan, spent $11.5 billion - a 24% increase over four years.
Maggie Myth #3: In addition to claiming she balanced the budget, Senator Hassan also argued she, “kept unemployment low and the tax burden among the lowest in the country.”
FACT: Unfortunately for Senator Hassan, numbers don’t lie.
On unemployment - when Senator Hassan was elected to the legislature in Nov. 2006, the state’s unemployment rate (unadjusted) stood at 3.4. When the voters of her district sent her back to Exeter in 2010, it had risen to 5.7% because of Senator Hassan’s tax and spend first, ask questions later mentality.
On taxes – Senator Hassan voted to raise fees and taxes 99 times. The Tax Foundation, using data from a number of sources, found the per capita tax paid by New Hampshire citizens in 2006 was $1,812 a year. By 2009 (the last year currently available) that payment increased to over $200 per person to $2,185 as a result of Senator Hassan’s tax and spend policies.
Maggie Myth #4: Senator Hassan took distortions to a new level this morning, seemingly blaming Ovide for the Great Recession as a means of deflecting one of her many budget gimmicks (in this case the raiding of the LCHIP fund). She said, “One of the very difficult challenges in the 2009 budget, after the economy crashed thanks to policies that my opponent has supported, we had to make very difficult decision about a lot dedicated funds."
FACT: The Great Recession is generally considered to have begun in late 2007 and reached its worst point in late 2008. At that time, Ovide was a private business lawyer. Senator Hassan, on the other hand, was the Majority Leader in the State Senate, serving in her third term. Who was more likely to have advocated for and enacted policies – 99 new taxes and fees, an income tax on LLCs, an unsustainable 24% increase in state spending among others – that would hurt the New Hampshire economy? Senator Hassan likes to talk about “having a conversation” about a variety of potential tax hikes. What she doesn’t like having a conversation about is her own abysmal legislative record.
Maggie Myth #5: Senator Hassan again inaccurately claimed Ovide signed a Cornerstone pledge stating he would totally deregulate health care.
FACT: Ovide signed a one-page, five point pledge which calls for, among other things, policy makers to “enact free market economic policies that empower New Hampshire families.” Nowhere does the pledge call for a complete deregulation of the health care system as Senator Hassan has repeatedly claimed. Given Senator Hassan’s record, it’s no surprise she would be opposed to enacting “free market economic policies that empower New Hampshire families.”
Said Lamontagne campaign spokesman Tom Cronin, “The Maggie Myths keep piling up, and as they do, we’ll keep providing the facts about these myths to the voters of New Hampshire, so that they can make an informed decision in this race for Governor, free from the Hassan campaign’s spin and distortion.”