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NRSC - Will Shaheen-Obama Campaign in Granite State on ObamaCare?

March 21, 2014

When will Shaheen-Obama Appear Together in New Hampshire to Explain ObamaCare?

President Obama has given Democrat Jeanne Shaheen a glowing endorsement, calling her a "terrific Senator."  Though Jeanne Shaheen's political team likely cringed upon hearing such lavish praise from the unpopular president, the embattled Senator has voted with President Obama a staggering 99% of the time, giving him good reason to consider her performance, "terrific." 

Considering the shared agenda and strong praise, how long before Jeanne Shaheen welcomes President Obama to New Hampshire to campaign at her side? During an awkward interview yesterday, Shaheen attempted to dodge any questions about campaigning with Obama or ObamaCare. 

As the fourth anniversary of ObamaCare approaches, New Hampshire voters are reminded that Jeanne Shaheen cast the deciding vote for Obamacare, a vote that Granite Staters are still paying the price for:

  • Thousands of New Hampshire residents had their health insurance cancelled because of ObamaCare, jeopardizing access to their hospitals and doctors.
     
  • Thanks to Shaheen’s ObamaCare, Anthem “radically reduced the hospitals on its network” - excluding 10 of New Hampshire’s 26 hospitals. As the National Journal reported, “Some people could have to drive as far as 45 minutes to see an in-network doctor,” according to Tyler Brannen, a health policy analyst at the New Hampshire Insurance Department. That means that women, families, and seniors now have to drive as far as 45 minutes to see a new doctor.
     
  • In many cases, access to health care specialists, including oncologists and cardiologists, has been excluded from coverage for specific New Hampshire hospitals in plans offered on the state’s exchanges. For example, in Peterborough, N.H. resident Michael Justice’s Anthem policy was cancelled as a result of ObamaCare, restricting access to his preferred hospital, primary-care physician, cardiologist and orthopedist.

ObamaCare, hugely unpopular in New Hampshire, is hardly the “historic step forward” that Jeanne Shaheen promised it would be. It's hardly the only promise that Jeanne Shaheen has broken to her constituents. 

“There's not a single person in New Hampshire that agrees with President Obama 100% of the time, yet Jeanne Shaheen has voted with him nearly that often,” said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. “Of course President Obama thinks Jeanne Shaheen is a 'terrific' Senator, she's done everything that he's asked at the expense of women, families, and seniors in the Granite State. Jeanne Shaheen owes New Hampshire voters an explanation of why she has continually put President Obama's agenda before what's best for New Hampshire - especially when it comes to ObamaCare."

BACKGROUND:

NEW HAMPSHIRE: OBAMACARE’S GROUND ZERO

In 2009, Shaheen Said America Took “A Historic Step Forward” By Passing ObamaCare.  “Today, our nation took a historic step forward in a quest that has spanned generations - to provide better quality and more cost effective health care to all Americans.” (Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, “Shaheen Statement On Passage Of The Senate Health Care Reform Bill,” Press Release, 12/24/09)

Shaheen Said “The Health Care Plan We Are Working On In Congress Will Let People Keep Their Doctor And Their Insurance Plan If They Like It, expand coverage options for people that need it, and stabilize costs for families, businesses and our economy. I look forward to continuing the effort and to achieve comprehensive health care reform that works for all Americans.” (Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, “Shaheen Discusses Health Care With New Hampshire Seniors,” Press Release, 8/21/09)

Thousands Of New Hampshire Residents Lost Their Insurance Because Of ObamaCare, As Well As Access To Their Hospital And Doctors

New Hampshire Residents Make Up Part Of The Five Percent Of Americans That Only Have One Insurance Company On Their State Exchange, Anthem Blue Cross And Blue Shield. “In the new health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, 95 percent of Americans will have at least two insurance companies from which to compare and select plans, according to a Health and Human Services Department analysis. But that also means 5 percent of Americans—including all residents of New Hampshire and West Virginia—will not have a choice. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the only insurance company participating in New Hampshire's exchange.” (Clara Ritger, “Obamacare Insurance Choices Shrink For Individual Buyers In New Hampshire,” National Journal, 10/31/13)

Anthem Cancelled 22,000 Of Its New Hampshire Health Insurance Policies Because Of ObamaCare.  “Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield NH informed about 22,000 of its 30,000 individual health insurance holders their current policies will be discontinued at the end of the year because they will not comply with Affordable Care Act requirements beginning Jan. 1. Speaking to the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee Tuesday, Paula Rogers, director of government relations for Anthem NH, said the letters were sent to all individual policy holders who were not grandfathered by having policies before the ACA passed in March 2010. She said another letter will be sent to the 22,000 individuals outlining their options, one of which is early renewal.” (Garry Rayno, “Anthem: 22,000 Were Told Their Health Insurance Would Be Cancelled In NH,” Union Leader, 11/5/13)

Anthem “Radically Reduced The Hospitals In Its Network,” Excluding 10 Of New Hampshire’s 26 Hospitals. “To keep premiums affordable, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Hampshire, the only insurer in the state offering coverage in the new insurance marketplace, radically reduced the hospitals in its network….Of the state’s 26 hospitals, 10 are excluded from Anthem’s network.” (Tracy Jan, “With Health Law, Less-Easy Access In N.H.,” The Boston Globe, 1/20/14)

Access To Health Care Specialists, Including Oncologists And Cardiologists, Has Been Excluded From Coverage For Specific New Hampshire Hospitals In Plans Offered On The State’s Exchanges. “For example, Anthem dropped not only Concord’s hospital from its network but also Laconia’s oncologists and cardiologists. Cancer patients in Laconia who purchase health plans through the health law will have to drive past two hospitals to get their chemotherapy in Manchester, Mr. Sanborn said.” (Jonathan Weisman, “In Fracas on Health Coverage, Some Democrats Feel Exposed,” The New York Times, 11/16/13)

  • Peterborough, N.H. Resident Michael Justice’s Anthem Policy Was Cancelled As A Result Of ObamaCare, Restricting Access To His Preferred Hospital, Primary-Care Physician, Cardiologist And Orthopedist.  “In New Hampshire, consumers who purchase insurance through the exchange have only one choice of carrier — Anthem BlueCross BlueShield— because no other insurer applied to join the exchange. The company’s network includes access to only 16 of the state’s 26 acute-care hospitals. That’s forcing people such as Michael Justice, 63, a Web developer from Peterborough, N.H., to leave doctors they like. Justice has been treated by primary-care doctors, cardiologists, orthopedists and eye doctors affiliated with Monadnock Community Hospital in his town for 15 years, and his wife for 30 years. But starting in 2014, that medical center will no longer be in network for the Anthem plans sold in his state, whether he buys the insurance through the health exchange or on his own.” (Sandhya Somashekhar And Ariana Eunjung Cha, “Insurers Restricting Choice Of Doctors And Hospitals To Keep Costs Down,” The New York Times, 11/20/13)

“Some People Could Have To Drive As Far As 45 Minutes To See An In-Network Doctor,” According To Tyler Brannen, A Health Policy Analyst At The New Hampshire Insurance Department.  “Next year, some people could have to drive as far as 45 minutes to see an in-network doctor, Brannen said. But that doesn't violate the state's adequacy standards that regulate provider distance in insurance plans, he added.” (Clara Ritger, “Obamacare Insurance Choices Shrink For Individual Buyers In New Hampshire,” National Journal, 10/31/13)

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