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Entries in Obamacare (1419)

Tuesday
Jan312012

RLCNH REBUKES CALLS FOR A STATE HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE UNDER OBAMACARE

A State Insurance Exchange Would Voluntarily Accept Obamacare and Send State Taxpayers the Bill

CONCORD, N.H.—The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire rebukes the idea that Republicans should remove uncertainty by establishing a state health insurance exchange under the terms of Obamacare, as such a move would voluntarily bind the state under the control of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department while sending New Hampshire taxpayers the bill.

Contrary to arguments from some insurance regulators, insurance companies and industry groups, creating a state exchange will remove New Hampshire’s local control and ensure Obamacare is fully enacted in New Hampshire, whether the federal law is repealed or not. In addition, establishing a state insurance exchange under Obamacare requires the state to pay for the full cost of implementation starting in 2015, which could cost New Hampshire taxpayers anywhere from $10 million to $47 million a year, according to HTMS, a North Dakota health care consulting company.

“The bottom line is that the federal government has created uncertainty by passing an unworkable federal law that depends on states to put in the time and money to fix all of its faults,” said Carolyn McKinney, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. “The cloud of uncertainty created by President Obama and the Democratic Congress won’t go away just because we accept Obamacare by creating a state health insurance exchange. In fact, these exchanges will distort the market, which will make for even more uncertainty.”

Those arguing for a state insurance exchange have clamored for predictability, but by establishing a state insurance exchange, the only predictable outcome will be that the state will be voluntarily implementing the terms of the Obamacare law that voters soundly rejected in 2010. The mammoth state bureaucracy created would only serve as a nominal state organization, but it would take all of its orders from Washington bureaucrats, who would set the rules for selling insurance plans within the state, thus reducing real competition and increasing the costs of providing health insurance.

What makes matters worse, under SB 163, the N.H. Senate bill that establishes a state exchange, “poison pill” language would eliminate only those sections found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court or repealed by the Congress, but it would leave everything else in place. If the bill passes, it would keep a state health insurance exchange in place even if the federal government fully rejects New Hampshire’s proposal, thus leaving us with a federal exchange plan funded by New Hampshire taxpayers.

The better approach is HB 1297, which would prohibit the state from enacting an exchange and make it harder for the federal government to implement the law. In fact, the more states that opt not to create a health insurance exchange will then send the federal bureaucrats scrambling to come up with one, without the time or funding to create one that will work. If New Hampshire and other states around the country say no to a state health insurance exchange, it all but guarantees that Congress will have to repeal or replace Obamacare, which is what the people want.

“Creating a state exchange voluntarily accepts Obamacare in New Hampshire,” McKinney said. “If we do that, this Republican Legislature will be directly opposing the voters who sent them to Concord to stand up against this federal overreach. These Republicans, and not the Obama Democrats, would be responsible for the consequences of Obamacare in New Hampshire.

“If Republicans act now to definitively reject a state exchange, however; the Republican Legislature stands a better chance of fulfilling the mandate of New Hampshire voters and leading the way toward true health insurance reform,” McKinney said.

For more information about the conclusions reached by RLCNH about state health insurance exchanges under Obamacare, please refer to these studies by the Cato Institute, the Idaho Freedom Foundation, and the Goldwater Institute.

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About The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire
RLCNH, a state chapter of the national Republican Liberty Caucus, was launched in December 2004 to promote and advance traditional Republican Party values, such as low taxes and spending, limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, free enterprise and loyalty to the U.S. and N.H. constitutions.

Wednesday
Jan252012

NH Democratic Lawmakers Launch “Don’t Let the GOP End Medicare in NH” Campaign 

Concord, NH - Today, Democratic Leadership in the House and Senate launched a campaign to protect Medicare in New Hampshire from the reckless Republican takeover contained in HB1560. The bill sponsored by Republican House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt and Republican Senate Finance Chair Chuck Morse, but written by out of state special interests, would give the legislature full discretion to raise the eligibility age and slash services for New Hampshire's senior citizens on Medicare.

 

"In short, this bill will end Medicare as we know it in New Hampshire," said Senator Sylvia Larsen.  "But sadly, it doesn't stop there. It would also take over Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program(CHIP) and other federally funded health care initiatives. Surely you don't have to be a doctor to see this is a disastrous plan for health care in our state."

 

"This bill puts Tea Party ideology before the best interests of the people of New Hampshire, would cripple Medicare, and is an unconstitutional attempt to supersede federal law," said Representative Terie Norelli. "Unfortunately the sponsors are not backbenchers or freshmen representatives; it is the Republican leadership in both the House and Senate."

 

"New Hampshire's senior citizens have paid their share into Medicare for decades," said Senator D'Allesandro. "Democrats will not allow this legislature to break the promise made to those hard working men and women."

 

"Not only does this bill defy common sense, it is the definition of fiscal irresponsibility,"said Representative Mary Jane Wallner. "In tough economic times when Medicaid participation typically increases, New Hampshire taxpayers would see their tax rates skyrocket. This Republican legislature already passed an irresponsible and unbalanced budget that killed nearly 2,000 jobs. Their reckless fiscal policies must be stopped."

 

The full text of the petition is below.

 


New Hampshire Republicans: Don't End Medicare in the Granite State 

[Link: http://www.change.org/petitions/new-hampshire-republicans-dont-end-medicare-in-the-granite-state]
As part of their reckless Tea Party agenda, New Hampshire Republicans in Concord want to end Medicare as we know it.   

 

Republican House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt and Republican Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Morse have sponsored HB1560, which would end Medicare in New Hampshire. Instead of a stable, reliable Medicare plan, seniors would be subjected to a budget process every two years that could slash benefits and services at the whim of the state legislature. The legislature also could choose to eliminate the Children's Health Insurance Program. This irresponsible bill would attempt to nullify federal law and put thousands of Granite State senior citizens and children at risk of losing health insurance and health care services.


We successfully defended Medicare from Republicans in Congress and with your support we will stop Concord Republicans from taking over of Medicare, too.

 

HB1560 is not only fiscally irresponsible, it also could endanger the health of New Hampshire's senior citizens, disabled and low income residents by eliminating coverage for proven treatments and disease prevention services.  At least 350,000 New Hampshire residents would lose their stable, reliable Medicare and Medicaid coverage.

 

Even the extremely conservative Union Leader editorial board called the bill "strange" and "convoluted," and argued it violates Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution.  HB1560 would leave discretion for operating Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and other federally funded health care initiatives in the hands of the legislature.  From slashing coverage to raising the eligibility age, every year radical and dangerous changes would be on the table.

Wednesday
Jan252012

NHDP - ICYMI: Compact waste: HB 1560 is frivolous

Concord, NH - Today, the extremely conservative Union Leader editorial board called Republican House Majority Leader Bettencourt and Republican Senate Finance Chair Morse's HB1560 "a frivolity upon which legislators should not waste their time."  HB1560 seeks to "suspend by legislation the operation of all federal laws, rules, regulations, and orders regarding health care" in violation of Article 6, of the U.S. Constitution.

 

The full text of the editorial is below.

 

Union Leader Editorial: Compact waste: HB 1560 is frivolous

[Link: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120124/OPINION01/701249997]

 

While the Senate prepares to debate a bill (SB 150) that would make a serious stab at improving our health insurance options in New Hampshire, the House holds a public hearing today on a bill that has pretensions of doing the same, but which suffers from delusions of grandeur.

 

House Bill 1560 is a strange, convoluted attempt to relieve New Hampshire of the burdens imposed by federal health care dictates. The bill would establish the foundation for a multi-state health care compact. The compact's rules would allow all member states to "suspend by legislation the operation of all federal laws, rules, regulations, and orders regarding health care that are inconsistent with the laws and regulations adopted by the member state pursuant to this compact" so the states can regulate health care as they see fit. 

 

There are only two, teeny problems. First, Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution forbids states from entering into compacts without the consent of Congress. HB 1560 thereby requests that Congress allow the creation of this compact. Second, Article 6 states that federal laws are the supreme law of the land. HB 1560 has no answer for that one. 

 

Then the coup de grace: HB 1560 declares that states in the compact have a "right" to direct payments "funded by Congress as mandatory spending" to implement, presumably, their own health care laws. The idea that Congress would approve a multi-state compact that lets states ignore federal laws but keep all money intended to implement those laws is preposterous. This bill is a frivolity upon which legislators should not waste their time.

Tuesday
Jan242012

NHDP - Democratic Lawmakers Decry Attempted GOP Takeover of Medicare in NH

Concord, NH - House and Senate Democrats stood united in opposition to the reckless Republican takeover of Medicare in New Hampshire: HB1560.  The bill would turn Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program(CHIP) and other federally funded health care initiatives into a block grant and attempt to nullify federal health care laws.

 

"In short, this bill will end Medicare as we know it in New Hampshire," said Senator Sylvia Larsen.  "Surely you don't have to be a doctor to see this is a disastrous plan for health care in our state."

 

The bill proposes that New Hampshire fundamentally alter not only the state's Medicare and Medicaid programs but potentially all health care services for which there is federal funding.  Collectively they would be replaced with a block grant system with full discretion for distributing those funds and determining who is eligible for them in the hands of the legislature.  In tough economic times when Medicaid participation typically increases, New Hampshire taxpayers would see their tax rates skyrocket. 

 

"HB1560 is not only fiscally irresponsible, it could also endanger the health of New Hampshire's senior citizens, disabled and low income residents by removing the requirements to cover proven treatments and disease prevention services.  At least 350,000 New Hampshire residents would lose the stability of their Medicare and Medicaid coverage," said Representative Cindy Rosenwald. 

 

While sponsored by members of Republican leadership in both the House and Senate, HB1560 was written by ALEC an extreme out of state special interest group.  In opposition to the United State Constitution the bill text reads, states "may suspend by legislation the operation of all federal laws, rules, regulations, and orders regarding health care." 

 

"This bill is part of a national, ideological driven, agenda to shrink government regardless of the consequences," said Representative Gary Richardson.  "Over the past 12 months we have watched first hand as the Tea Party Republicans have imposed taxes on hospitals providing Medicaid services and cut state services resulting in the lost of nearly 2,000 jobs.  This is not the New Hampshire way."

 

For a complete copy of the legislator's remarks at today's press conference email press@nhdp.org.

Wednesday
Jan042012

NH House Majority Leader Statement on Returning Obamacare $$$

Today the House Rules committee, in a  7-2 vote , voted to allow the late entry of a bill which would direct the State of New Hampshire to return $333,000 in federal  ObamaCare money to  Washington.  Earlier this year the Republican led legislature passed a bill (HB 601) to return $666,000 in Obamacare exchange planning funds to cut the federal deficit.  In December, the Executive Council voted to reject a $333,000 contract, paid for with federal funds, to establish a health insurance exchange to implement the national health care reform law, commonly called ObamaCare. At the time, Rep. Bettencourt indicated that legislation  would be   forthcoming to return the balance of the money back to Washington.  Today's vote by House Rules starts that process. 

     

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

"We have sent the message time and again to Washington that the people of New Hampshire should be free to make their own health care decisions.  We have already passed legislation to send $666,000 in  ObamaCare money back to the feds and thanks to the vote of the Rules Committee today, we intend to send back even more.  Governor Lynch and the Democrats in this state have clearly embraced ObamaCare and all of the strings that come attached to it.  As majority leader I can assure the people of New Hampshire that we will continue to block any attempt to force Obamacare money upon us.  I applaud the Republican members of the Rules Committee who recognized the importance of this legislation and voted to allow us to take up the matter once again this session."