Concord, NH – Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem) and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) released the following statements today regarding the health insurance proposal released by Governor Hassan and House Speaker Norelli:
Sen. Morse said: “I appreciate the Governor and the Speaker continuing to offer ideas on how we can come together on a plan to increase access to private insurance coverage. However, the proposal released today falls short of a compromise. It focuses on what some believe we cannot do, as opposed to expecting government to work harder for the people of New Hampshire.
“The Governor’s proposal is an unsustainable entitlement. It eliminates the deadlines that the Senate believes are imperative to making a private program work. Without definitive targets for when the newly eligible population will transition to private insurance on the exchange, the Governor’s proposal is nothing but a bridge to nowhere.
“As I have said throughout this process, I am confident the state can meet the deadlines in the Senate bill. I was further encouraged yesterday during the public hearing when we learned that both the Insurance Department and the Department of and Health and Human Services now have consultants on staff that assisted another state in obtaining similar waivers in less time than we are suggesting. The Governor needs to lead by directing her department heads to get to work on what is in the best interest of New Hampshire.”
Sen. Bradley added: “Governor Hassan’s suggestion that the legislature should repeal the law signed by Governor Lynch that specifically prohibits a state-based exchange should be a nonstarter for anyone who has witnessed the ongoing failure of HealthCare.gov. Similar operational setbacks and astronomical costs have plagued states around the country that are attempting to establish state-based exchanges, including our neighbors in Vermont looking to spend upwards of $20 million on their program. Senate Republicans will not put taxpayers on the hook for those costs.
“A number of thoughtful suggestions for improvement were offered during the public hearing on the Senate bill yesterday. Committee members will carefully consider those and any other proposals that come forward in order to reach our shared goal of increasing access to private insurance coverage. However, if we are going to reach an honest and full compromise on this issue, it will involve a recognition that accomplishing difficult goals requires leadership to forge a bipartisan consensus.”