Senate President Expresses Disappointment in Insurance Department Efforts to Undermine the Legislature on ObamaCare

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Raises questions regarding the Department’s partnership with the NHHP to seek and expend taxpayer funds supporting the health care law

Concord, NH – Senate President Peter Bragdon today expressed disappointment in the Department of Insurance’s ongoing efforts to defy legislative intent by spending taxpayer funds to support ObamaCare in New Hampshire.

In a letter to Department of Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny, the Senate President raises a number of questions in response to the Commissioner’s announcement that the Department is working with the state’s high risk pool – known as New Hampshire Health Plan (NHHP) – to apply for a $5.4 million federal grant to fund outreach efforts prior to the opening of the ObamaCare “Marketplace” in October.

Specifically, the President’s letter asks what statutory authority the NHHP has to expand its function in this regard, particularly as the NHHP and the state’s high risk pool are scheduled to sunset at the end of this year.  Additionally, as a government instrumentality created by the legislature, the letter asks the Commissioner to clarify what authority NHHP has to apply for, accept, and spend grants without legislative approval, and in this case without the specific approval of the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee tasked with overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire.

The letter concludes by asking the Commissioner to refrain from any further action on this grant until legislators and specifically the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee has the opportunity to review the particulars of this arrangement.

The full text of the President’s letter to Commissioner Sevigny is attached.