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Entries in NH Sen Morse (13)

Thursday
Feb202014

Sen. Chuck Morse: On Medicaid, a New Hampshire option that works

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

ICYMI: Sen. Chuck Morse: On Medicaid, a New Hampshire option that works

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20140219/OPINION02/140219138

 

More than any other issue, my Senate colleges and I hear from our neighbors, constituents and business leaders most often about the rising cost of health care and its impact on purchasing power, job growth and our economy.

New Hampshire citizens pay the second-highest health insurance premium rates in the nation, due primarily to a lack of competition in our insurance market and the cost of caring for 200,000 uninsured or Medicaid-dependent residents. Combined, the value of these hidden taxes approaches nearly $1 billion a year, which places a heavy burden on every taxpayer and insurance policy holder in the state. And yet despite the price tag, the quality of care available to the underinsured remains far from adequate.

Obamacare has failed to address the rising cost of care in New Hampshire or to improve the quality of services available to our residents. Thousands have lost their health care benefits and are now paying more for plans that offer less. The law has created legions of new taxes, discouraged people from working, and further complicated a dysfunctional system.

Unfortunately, despite proving expensive, unmanageable and unpopular, Obamacare’s failures have not spurred policymakers in Washington to repeal or replace it. Here in New Hampshire, we would be making a tremendous mistake if we allowed Obamacare or the expansion of Medicaid to move forward, and this is why I have and will continue to oppose the misguided implementation of this federal law.

Instead, to bring down the cost of care and improve patient outcomes, the Senate will move forward with a New Hampshire solution. Our proposal will establish a two-year pilot program, 100-percent funded with existing federal dollars, to give low-income New Hampshire residents the opportunity to purchase high-quality private insurance coverage. Contrary to the one-size fits all Obamacare model, we are seeking an unprecedented level of flexibility to manage an alternative health care program that works for New Hampshire.

Our program includes important cost-saving and personal responsibility reforms, such as copayments and deductibles, preventative care and wellness measures, and referrals for job counseling for participants without steady employment. These reforms will encourage beneficiaries to take responsibility for their own health and give them the tools to build a better life for themselves and their families.

Opponents of this plan have muddied the water on this difficult issue, and that’s unfortunate given the challenges we face. I’d like to address a few of those unfounded criticisms. 

First, to be very clear, our proposal will not increase state spending, nor will it increase the number of residents on Medicaid. Republicans would not have agreed to anything else.

Second, our bill is very specific that without the approval of the necessary waivers the program will not proceed. Nowhere is it suggested that waiver refusal would result in defaulting to Medicaid expansion.

And finally, to protect our taxpayers, the bill ends the program automatically if at any time federal funding drops below 100 percent. I agree that enforcing this sunset will require political courage. However, Republican senators have repeatedly shown that we will stand with New Hampshire against the effects of Obamacare. If we had not done so over the course of the last year, the President’s costly entitlement expansion plan would already be law, and we would have lost this opportunity to forge our own path.

Obamacare is moving the nation towards a single-payer health care system, and Medicaid expansion is forcing millions of patients into a system of subpar care and increasing dependence on government.

Our proposal takes New Hampshire in a starkly different direction by encouraging competition in our private health care market by creating new customers, increasing reimbursement rates and bringing new providers into the market. Assisting in the purchase of high-quality private coverage will improve the quality of life of thousands of low-income residents while simultaneously improving their ability to earn a living and contribute to our economy.

What we are offering is a private-option solution to address New Hampshire specific needs. By moving this bill forward, we will be taking a vitally important step to enhance the lives of our citizens and strengthen our economy.

Sen. Chuck Morse, R-Salem, is president of the New Hampshire Senate.

Friday
Nov222013

NH Senate President Statement on the Special Session 

Concord, NH – Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, issued the following statement following the adjournment of the 2013 Special Session:

“After all the hard work of the last few months, I am deeply disappointed we couldn’t come to a compromise today.  Unfortunately, while we are very close in principle, there are still significant details that separate us.  Chief among them is the need for clear and specific deadlines that will ensure the Medicaid reforms we all agree on are implemented in a timely fashion. 

“All of us recognize there is still a problem to be solved.  We remain committed to working with our colleagues in the Senate and the House, Democrats and Republicans, to find a bipartisan legislative solution that increases access to affordable private health insurance for low-income New Hampshire citizens.  The amendments discussed today provide an important framework for continued discussions that I hope can begin next week and continue into the 2014 session.” 

Thursday
Nov142013

Senate President Morse’s Statement on Passing of Councilor Burton

Concord, NH – Senate President Chuck Morse released the following statement today on the passing of Executive Councilor Raymond S. Burton:

“The passing of Councilor Burton is a tremendous loss for the State of New Hampshire.  As a public servant, educator, volunteer and friend, Ray was a larger-than-life figure whose contributions to our state could never be truly quantified.

“He will always be remembered as a tireless and effective fighter for the people, places, and way of life that defined his beloved North Country.  He recognized that serving his constituents was about more than garnering votes, it was about doing what he could to improve the lives of those who trusted him to serve.  We take comfort in knowing his spirit will live on through those he helped, mentored, and inspired throughout his distinguished career.

 

“Susan and I extend our prayers to Ray’s family and close friends at this difficult time and thank them for sharing him with us for so many years.”

Thursday
Nov142013

Josiah Bartlett Center - Join us, Senator Morse, and PJ O'Rourke on Nov 21st 

Join Us for the Third Annual Libertas Dinner
November 21st
Dear Friends,

Our annual Libertas Award Dinner is coming up next week and t
here are a few good seats still available, so no one has to sit in the kitchen.
 
I hope you’ll consider coming because it will help the Josiah Bartlett Center survive and thrive.
                                                                                                                     ~ Charlie
Wednesday
Oct162013

NH Senate President Chuck Morse Statement on Gov. Hassan’s Call for a Special Session

Concord, NH – Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, issued the following statement today after Gov. Hassan announced her intention to call the legislature into special session to address the issue of Medicaid Expansion:

“I applaud the Medicaid Commission for their diligent work over the last few months, but it is important to recognize that this report is just the first step.  To be clear, significant work remains to take the recommendations of the commission and turn them into a bill that can pass both bodies of the legislature.

“I am pleased that the commission’s final report touches on a number of items that will be of critical importance to the Senate, such as recommending the use of private insurance, the importance of obtaining necessary federal waivers prior to the start of any program, and the need to protect New Hampshire taxpayers from future liabilities.  These principles represent the common ground that I am hopeful may allow us to reach a bipartisan solution on this complex issue.  I look forward to working with the Governor, the House, and other interested parties to design a program that will adhere to these values and accomplish our shared goal of increasing access to high quality health insurance for New Hampshire’s low-income population. 

“Through ongoing conversations, legislative committee hearings, and a public comment period, I believe we can design a program that will not only increase access to care but also improve health care outcomes and the quality of life for thousands of New Hampshire’s low-income residents.”

Background note:  The legislature is expected to meet to introduce legislation on November 7 with public hearings to occur the week of November 12-14.  The legislature is expected to meet again the following week to vote on a bill.