On Wednesday, Senator Shaheen penned a letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius expressing concern that New Hampshire currently only has one healthcare provider on the federal marketplace and that 10 of the state's 26 hospitals have been excluded from that provider's network.
In the letter she writes, "I am concerned that in some areas of my state, the choice of a robust provider network may not be available, as only one insurer is currently participating in New Hampshire's federally facilitated marketplace."
Senator Shaheen wants you to forget that she was the deciding 60th vote for Obamacare. Her vote makes her personally responsible a law which terminated longstanding relationships between tens of thousands of New Hampshire people and their preferred doctors and hospitals.
She wants you to forget that she said "If you like your insurance, you can keep it" which PolitiFact called the "lie of the year".
The question presents itself, why does New Hampshire have only one health insurance provider while other states have several to choose from?
Senator Shaheen wants you to forget that, as state senator in 1994, she was lead sponsor of SB711 which, just like Obamacare, imposed government price controls and product restrictions on health insurance policies. Her law resulted in several years of chaos in the New Hampshire health insurance marketplace and a dramatic reduction in choices for consumers.
In 2002, the legislature was forced to substantially repeal SB711, but its damage could not be completely undone.
As the Union Leader points out, "That law drove 21 insurers out of the state. New Hampshire went from having 26 health insurers in 1994 to only five just eight years later. A study by the Rhode Island legislature, conducted 12 years after SB711 passed, concluded that the bill was what drove those insurers out of state."
The people of New Hampshire have good memories.
Senator Shaheen can continue to act as if she is shocked by how Obamacare has hurt New Hampshire's people, but we know better. She should have learned from her terrible mistake with SB711, which is why we have only one insurance choice in the Federal exchange.
US Senators should vote for laws only after understanding their full ramifications. We can't afford six more years of Senator Shaheen voting for legislation that she later realizes is harmful to the citizens of New Hampshire.
But pointing out that Senator Shaheen did not learn from her mistakes is not enough.
We must reduce America's highest in the world healthcare costs and increase healthcare quality and access. I have proposed solutions to these challenges that increase consumer choice and insurance options and give healthcare providers and insurance companies freedom to innovate.
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