NHDP - GOP Finance Chair Admits “Ideology” Driving Force Behind Senate Budget

Republican ideology protects big tobacco, while balancing the budget on the backs of New Hampshire workers, cutting economic development, and slashing health care


Concord – The Republican Senate Finance Chair and lead budget author admitted in the Union Leader on Monday that “ideology” was the driving force behind the GOP’s proposed budget.  “Ideology was what the Senate (Republicans) were doing.” [Union Leader, 6/3/2013]  The Republican budget would force as many as 700 New Hampshire workers to lose their jobs, leave a 40 million dollar hole in the state budget, and refuse to accept billions of federal dollars for improved health care and economic security all in the name of Republican ideology.
“This reckless and irresponsible budget is a product of putting ideology ahead of what is best for the health and economic security of New Hampshire taxpayers, businesses, and families,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Harrell Kirstein.  “Why instead of funding the successful Green Launching Pad and investing in new small businesses, instead of expanding affordable health care coverage to thousands of taxpayers, and instead of protecting the economic security of countless New Hampshire families, are Republicans are protecting big out-of-state tobacco companies and preparing to layoff 700 New Hampshire workers?  The people of New Hampshire that the Republicans are about to layoff and deny health care coverage deserve an answer.”
“As Senator Morse revealed the only thing standing in the way avoiding these damaging cuts is Republican ideology.  They could each be avoided by increasing taxes on big out-of-state tobacco companies,” added Kirstein.
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]
Republican Budget Would Force 700 New Hampshire Workers to be Laid-off.
Headline: Seeking savings, N.H. Senate budget writers look to cut state personnel costs – again. [Concord Monitor, 6/4/2013]

Republicans: Personnel Cut “necessary to balance the budget.” The Concord Monitor reported, “The Senate’s budget writers also added a clause requiring Hassan, a Democrat, to reduce spending on benefits and compensation for classified state employees by at least $50 million over the next biennium, including at least $20 million in savings to the state’s general fund. Morse said the Senate’s proposed budget spends more than the current budget does without increasing taxes or fees. The personnel cut, he said, was necessary to balance the books. The SEA warned last week that the $50 million cut could mean 700 jobs eliminated, or a $5,000-per-employee reduction in total compensation.” [Concord Monitor, 6/4/2013]

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]
Evidence Shows 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]

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

STUDY: Refusing to Expand Medicaid Will Be “More-Costly,” Require States Higher Spending on Uncompensated Care.  A non-partisan study revealed, “State policymakers should be aware that if they do not expand Medicaid, fewer people will have health insurance, and that will trigger higher state and local spending for uncompensated medical care,” Price said. “Choosing to not expand Medicaid may turn out to be the more-costly path for state and local governments.” [The Hill, 6/3/2013]
Senate Republicans Slashed Funding for Economic Development.
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]

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]