Affordable Care Act is eroding meaning of New Hampshire’s motto
By Michael Justice, Concord Monitor
April 26, 2014
CONCORD, NH- With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire, our motto, our creed, suffered similar erosion. We have become less free – with scarcely a fight, let alone a battle cry.
WellPoint-Anthem eliminated insurance coverage for 12 of our state’s 26 hospitals and for the health care providers associated with them. As widely reported, Anthem lobbyist Paula Rogers told the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee: “We’ve got 26 hospitals. Do we need 26 hospitals to serve the population we expect to see and still provide quality of care? We decided that we didn’t.”
We were repeatedly assured from the beginning of the ACA that we could keep our doctors and our hospitals. We were promised choice. We were promised affordability. WellPoint-Anthem added a footnote to those promises to exclude our state – promises made by some important and powerful people in our national and state government. An asterisk was working its way next to our “live free” creed to denote its compromise, exception, erosion.
One of those hospitals not deemed necessary by WellPoint-Anthem is Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough. On the afternoon of Feb. 10, an industrial accident resulted in an explosion at a factory that sent more than a dozen injured employees to MCH. Two were so severely injured that they were airlifted to major medical facilities in Massachusetts. All survived and have been released from hospitals.
Whether you call it Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, the operative word is care. And while many of us now pay health insurance premiums to WellPoint-Anthem, many still do not have access to health care, to new providers or to our own doctors who delivered the continuity of care that is widely applauded for both its effectiveness and efficiency.
Now is the time for a leadership that delivers the solution to this injustice imposed on our state. Anyone who thinks that waiting for next year is an option has never set foot in an emergency room or an urgent care facility.
Now is the time for candidates to exercise their best leadership skills. Craft the solution for now – executive orders, legislation, court injunctions, whatever. Deliver this now. Save lives. Earn votes.
Or change our motto to “Live Free* or Die.”