Over 500 petition signatures against ALEC sponsored bill delivered today
Concord, NH - Today, Democratic lawmakers and New Hampshire citizens dropped off more than 500 petition signatures in opposition to HB1560 written by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Republican House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt and Republican Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Morse have sponsored HB1560, which would end Medicare in New Hampshire. ALEC sponsored a presentation on Health Care in New Hampshire at the State House this morning.
"This bill is a reckless and irresponsible takeover of New Hampshire's Medicare program, said Representative Cindy Rosenwald of Nashua. "Turning Medicare into a voucher program where seniors have to purchase private health insurance would also put at risk what people like most about Medicare: that they can continue their relationship with their own doctors. If they have to choose doctors from within a carrier's network, they may possibly have to leave the doctor they have trusted for years. That's not fair."
Instead of a stable, reliable Medicare plan, seniors would be subjected to a budget process every two years that could slash benefits and services at the whim of the state legislature. Under HB1560, the legislature also could choose to eliminate the Children's Health Insurance Program. This irresponsible bill would attempt to nullify federal law and put thousands of Granite State senior citizens and children at risk of losing health insurance and health care services.
"I am a Medicare beneficiary who is very satisfied with the program and the guaranteed health care services made available to me, even though I have a pre-existing condition. Not only do I have access to medical care, I have the peace of mind knowing that the Medicare program affords me maximum choice of doctors and hospitals," said Joan Jacobs of Portsmouth in testimony before the House Constitutional Review and Statutory Recodification Committee. "I paid payroll taxes to Medicare throughout my life as a wage earner. I do not want my Medicare coverage terminated by the state of New Hampshire. I repeat: I do not want my Medicare coverage terminated by the state of New Hampshire."
"I believe HB1560 is an ill advised proposal that will bring chaos to the health delivery system here in New Hampshire. It will bring uncertainty and anxiety to doctors and patients alike. As a Medicare beneficiary myself, I find it alarming that lawmakers in our state legislature would want to take away a guaranteed benefit and replace it with a state block grant of diminishing value," continued Jacobs. "Even more astounding is the fact that the bill as proposed does not even require the redirected federal funds be used for health care."
"Hopefully testimony from Granite State citizens like Joan Jacobs and the cries of hundreds of New Hampshire residents who don't want to see Medicare ended will stop ALEC and the sponsors of this awful bill," added Rep. Rosenwald.