NHDP - Fact Check: Breaking Down Misleading GOP Budget Claims

"Senate Republicans' press release on the budget made a number of bulleted claims, many of which were either misleading or blatantly untrue.  The fact is that the Republican Senate budget raids dedicated funds, diverts investment away from priorities that will expand the economy and add jobs, forces mass layoffs, and left an enormous hole in the Health and Human Services Department budget that will painfully cut CHINS and services for the developmentally disabled - all things Republicans are trying to pretend they didn't do. 


"Instead of funding the successful Green Launching Pad and investing in new small businesses, Republicans added that money to their legislative budget. Instead of increasing taxes on big tobacco, Republicans are forcing mass layoffs and cuts to critical health services.  And instead of accepting $2.5 billion in federal dollars to expand Medicaid and provide affordable health coverage to working families, Republicans have put their radical Tea Party base ahead of the working people of New Hampshire. Republicans have turned their back on New Hampshire families and small businesses by refusing to invest in common sense priorities that will expand the economy and move our state forward." - NHDP Communications Director Harrell Kirstein


GOP Budget Claim: "The Senate budget provides nearly $24 million more to the [HHS] department than was appropriated by the House."

Fact: Senate Republicans Left A $40 Million Hole In the Health And Human Services Budget.

  • HHS Faces $40 M Hole With "Reductions Contained in Senate's Proposed $10.7 Billion Spending Plan."The Nashua Telegraph reported, "Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas told Senate budget writers Friday that drastically cutting programs and reducing jobs may be the only answer to a $40 million budget hole he faces. Toumpas said the $40 million hole is because of obligations the state's largest agency already faced and reductions contained in the Senate's proposed $10.7 billion spending plan." [Nashua Telegraph, 5/26/2013]
  • HHS Cuts Could Force Cuts to "Safety Net Programs."  The Nashua Telegraph reported that "Senate budget writers could be faced with millions of dollars in cuts to some safety net programs, such as for the developmentally disabled and Children in Need of Services, because of a massive hole in the state budget." [Nashua Telegraph, 5/26/2013]



GOP Budget Claim: "The Senate budget removes provisions requested by the governor that would have granted her significant authority to raid dedicated funds to fill potential budget shortfalls."

Fact: Senate Republicans Raided $16 million From The Renewable Energy Dedicated Fund.

  • Senate Republicans Raided a Dedicated Renewable Energy Fund.  The Union Leader reported, "the committee added about $84 million in revenue to the bottom line... with $16 million from the renewable energy fund..." [Union Leader, 5/24/2013]
  • Senate Republicans raided "$16 million in renewable energy funds to help pay for the spending." The Associated Press reported, that as the Senate outlined spending "The [Finance] committee voted to use $16 million in renewable energy funds to help pay for the spending." [AP, 5/20/2013]


GOP Budget Claim: "The Senate increased funding for the state's uncompensated care program by $20 million."

FACT: Republicans Are Paying For Uncompensated Care With Back Of the Budget Cuts and Mass Layoffs.

  • Republicans will use $20 Million in General Funds and $50 Million Total in State Layoffs to Fund Uncompensated Care Payments.  From the Union Leader, "The committee has worked to find ways to increase uncompensated care payments to hospitals to entice them to join the managed care networks so the program can begin, including using a $20 million reduction in personnel compensation and benefits costs as well as other reductions in the Health and Human Services Department." [Union Leader, 5/24/2013]


GOP Budget Claim: The Senate finance committee's budget makes "significant improvements" over the Governor's budget including "the use of realistic revenue estimates."

Fact: Previously Republicans praised the Governor's "very conservative" revenue estimates. 

  • Jeb Bradley: Hassan should be praised for "very conservative revenue estimates." From the Concord Monitor, "Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, a Wolfeboro Republican, said Hassan should be praised for "'very conservative revenue estimates. That's very good.'" [Concord Monitor, 2/14/2013]
  • Republicans Had Few Complaints with Governor's Revenue Estimates.   The Concord Monitor reported that "Republicans aired few complaints yesterday about Hassan's baseline estimates from traditional state levies like the business profits tax, the business enterprise tax, the meals-and-rooms tax and the interest-and-dividends tax."  [Concord Monitor, 2/14/2013]
  • Chuck Morse: Governor "Right" With "Systematic And Consistent" Revenue Estimates Method. In a press release, Republican State Senator Chuck Morse applauded the Governor saying, "The governor is right in noting the need for a 'systematic and consistent method of forecasting state revenues.'" [Press Release, 1/23/2013]


GOP Budget Claim: The Senate budget opted "to study the long-term costs of [Medicaid] expansion via a bipartisan commission."

Fact: The Independent Lewin Group Already Did A Study and Senate Republicans Ignored Evidence Medicaid Expansion Would Strengthen The Economic Security And Health Of Countless New Hampshire Families.

  • Lewin Group: Moving forward with Medicaid Expansion would bring $2.5 billion into the economy, create 700 jobs, and save the state $92 million. [Lewin Group, Jan 2013]
  • Think Tank: Postponing Medicaid Expansion Even By One Year Would Cost An NH Irreplaceable $340 Billion. Economic and heath care policy experts at the NHFPI predict that "If New Hampshire delays, it would lose out for a year - maybe more - on the 100 percent federal match.  In detailed reports assessing the impact of the Medicaid expansion on New Hampshire, the Lewin Group estimated that a one-year delay would reduce the federal funds coming into New Hampshire by $340 million." [NHFPI, 5/28/2013]
  • STUDY: "Medicaid Virtually Wiped Out Crippling Medical Expenses Among The Poor." "The big news is that Medicaid virtually wiped out crippling medical expenses among the poor: The percentage of people who faced catastrophic out-of-pocket medical expenditures (that is, greater than 30 percent of annual income) declined from 5.5 percent to about 1 percent. In addition, the people on Medicaid were about half as likely to experience other forms of financial strain-like borrowing money or delaying payments on other bills because of medical expenses." [The New Republic, 5/1/2013]
  • STUDY: "People On Medicaid Ended Up With Significantly Better Mental Health." "The other big finding was that people on Medicaid ended up with significantly better mental health: The rate of depression among Medicaid beneficiaries was 30 percent lower than the rate of depression among people who remained uninsured. That's not just good health policy. That's good fiscal policy, given the enormous costs that mental health problems impose on society-by reducing productivity, increasing the incidence of violence and self-destructive behavior, and so on." [The New Republic,5/1/2013] 
  • Accepting Federal Funding for Expanded Medicaid Would Bring NH A "Number of Economic Benefits." The non-partisan New Hampshire fiscal policy institute found, "if New Hampshire takes the federal money, it will enjoy a number of economic benefits as well. It will gain an average of 5,100 new jobs; the state will enjoy a $2.8 billion increase in gross state product; personal income will increase by more than $2 billion, and; household spending on health care will drop by almost $100 million statewide." [NHFPI Testimony, 5/9/2013]


GOP Budget Claim: "The Senate took steps to invigorate the economy by continuing business tax reductions and incentives rather than repealing them and proposing new programs that grow government."

Fact: Senate Republicans Increased Their Legislative Budget by $500K, While Reducing Funds For Economic Development And STEM Education.

  • The Senate Republican budget cut $500,000 from the Green Launching Pad. Senate Republicans cut $500,000 from the Green Launching Pad in HB1. The Green Launching Pad is a public private partnership that enables local start-ups to bring green solutions to market strengthening the economy and boosting job creation. [Senate Finance HB1]
  • The Senate Republican Budget Cut $200,000 From FIRST. Senate Republicans cut $200,000 from grant to local schools to start FIRST programs in HB1. FIRST inspires young people's interest and participation in science and technology and motivates them to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. [Senate Finance HB1]
  • The Senate Republican Budget Added $500,000 to their legislative budget. [Senate Finance HB1]