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Entries in Obamacare (1419)

Tuesday
Mar102015

NHDP - ICYMI: Concord Monitor Op-Ed: State’s Health Care Expansion Plan is Working 

ICYMI: Concord Monitor Op-Ed: State’s Health Care Expansion Plan is Working
    
Key Point: "As the long budget-writing season begins, I have one simple request for our representatives in Concord: Let us have an honest discussion about Medicaid expansion based on facts, not Sarah Palin-esque fear-mongering."

Concord Monitor: My Turn: State’s health care expansion plan is working
By Dr. Travis Harker
http://www.concordmonitor.com/opinion/15956262-95/my-turn-states-health-care-expansion-plan-is-working

Remember Sarah Palin’s “death panel” myth?

While Palin’s ludicrous claim was thoroughly debunked long ago, the far right’s scare-mongering tactics to mislead the public live on.

If there’s been one constant throughout the history of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, it’s that opponents will not let anything – including the facts – get in the way of their arguments.

Two years ago, when I was serving on the Medicaid expansion study commission, I was impressed by the bipartisan effort to understand the facts about the benefits and costs of crafting a New Hampshire solution for the uninsured citizens of New Hampshire. It took the leadership of Senate Republicans to look past the sound bites and misinformation by a few well-funded extremists to craft the New Hampshire Health Protection Plan to benefit the people of New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s bipartisan health care expansion plan is working. To date, more than 36,000 Granite Staters now have access to quality, affordable health coverage – many of them for the first time.

Many Granite Staters will remember that New Hampshire’s business community called on lawmakers to pass the expansion plan because it reduces cost-shifting onto families and businesses, makes our workforce healthier and boosts our state’s economy. And we’re already beginning to see the results.

But in light of the bipartisan plan’s success, new falsehoods are now being claimed – such as that Medicaid expansion is hurting seniors, children and the disabled by causing budget challenges at the Department of Health and Human Services.

That claim is simply not true.

The budget challenges at DHHS are due to more children getting on traditional Medicaid as the result of a change in federal law, not due to Medicaid expansion (which is paid for entirely by the federal government through 2016, with funding never dropping below 90 percent after that).

Additionally, Republicans in the Legislature insisted on unspecified “back-of-the-budget” cuts at DHHS – meaning legislators cut funds for the department without identifying which services should be reduced as a result. This practice allows legislators to avoid making tough decisions, letting them instead hide behind department heads who are later forced to cut services in order to ensure a balanced budget. Faced with these challenges, DHHS was forced to make tough choices, including foregoing a rate increase for nursing homes.

The budget that Gov. Hassan presented to the Legislature moves away from shaky budget tricks that have allowed the Legislature to promise more services than DHHS could really afford.

More importantly, the governor’s transparent and fiscally responsible budget reauthorizes the bipartisan expansion plan, providing the funds required to cover New Hampshire’s share in the next biennium.

For the sake of New Hampshire’s economy, and the health and economic well-being of our people, it’s crucial that the Legislature reauthorizes our successful expansion plan.

Members of the Republican leadership have shown that they can move beyond partisan politics to do what is right for New Hampshire. I’m hopeful that they will demonstrate the same leadership on this critical issue.

As the long budget-writing season begins, I have one simple request for our representatives in Concord: Let us have an honest discussion about Medicaid expansion based on facts, not Sarah Palin-esque fear-mongering.

(Travis Harker is a family doctor at the Concord Family Health Center and a former president of the New Hampshire Medical Society.)
Tuesday
Feb242015

US Rep Guinta fighting to resolve top concerns heard at townhalls 

WASHINGTON. D.C. – Congressman Frank Guinta hosted two townhalls last week – one in Manchester and the other in Laconia.  This represents Congressman Guinta’s second and third townhalls since being sworn into the 114th Congress.

“The top two concerns I heard from constituents during last week’s townhalls echoed the apprehensions I’ve heard from Granite Staters since I took office earlier this year.  First and foremost, our economy remains stagnant while the cost-of-living increases and take-home pay decreases.  Secondly, families and small businesses continue to grapple with offsetting the harmful effects of the President’s healthcare law. 

To resolve these concerns, I wrote legislation to repeal the devastating Cadillac tax under the President’s healthcare law which is set to inflict a 40% tax on workers’ health care plans – running up healthcare costs for individuals, companies, municipalities and taxpayers. Additionally, I introduced bipartisan legislation to rein in Washington’s “spend first, pay later” mentality which has resulted in rampant government waste and abuse.  Every dollar the government wastes on duplicative programs and agencies could – and should – go back to your pockets for you to spend as you see fit.  I look forward to working with our communities in the state and both parties in Washington to enact these bills into law."

 

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Thursday
Feb192015

NH House Republicans Comment on Defeat of Single-Payer Health Care Bill 

CONCORD - House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) and House Commerce Committee member Rep. Joe Hannon (R-Lee) today offered the following statements on the defeat of HB 686, a bill sponsored by House Democrats that would have established a socialized single payer health care system in  New Hampshire. The bill was killed by a majority voice vote.

 

House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline)

 

“I’d like to thank our Vermont neighbors for bringing to light the crippling costs associated with implementing a single payer health care system. They’ve abandoned their plan for socialized medicine, and today, the New Hampshire House roundly rejected this bill that would have led to skyrocketing taxes and a reduction in the quality of and access to care.”

 

Rep. Joe Hannon (R-Lee), House Commerce Committee


“Bringing forward legislation of this nature while we are still in the early stages of the Affordable Care Act is a tacit admission that Obamacare is a failed policy.”

Thursday
Feb122015

US Rep Guinta introduces bill to protect middle class workers from 40% tax increase on health benefits 

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WASHINGTON. D.C. – Today, Congressman Guinta introduced H.R. 879 - Ax the Tax on Middle Class Americans’ Health Plans Act - to repeal a harmful provision of the President’s healthcare law, known as a ‘Cadillac tax,’ which will inflict a 40% tax on middle class Americans’ health plans.  The Cadillac tax will officially go into effect in 2018; however, employers, labor unions, and municipalities are anticipating this massive tax by looking at increasing deductibles, reducing benefits and shifting costs to consumers and property tax payers alike. 

 

“I’ve heard from countless municipalities back home who are absolutely terrified of this unavoidable and impending tax hike.  Even worse, the non-partisan think tank American Health Policy Institute found that over 12 million middle-class American workers would see an average increase of $1,050 in higher payroll and income taxes per year.  My legislation will protect workers from facing this devastating tax increase, employers from reducing workers’ benefits and municipal taxpayers who – if enacted – would experience skyrocketing property taxes.  The repeal of this onerous tax has received widespread support from republicans, democrats, national unions and more.”

 

The Ax the Tax on Middle Class Americans’ Health Plans Act is the first piece of stand-alone legislation to repeal the Cadillac Tax in the House of Representatives.

 

To read the text of Ax the Tax on Middle Class Americans’ Health Plans Act, please click here.

 

Thursday
Feb052015

NHDP - Frank Guinta Votes to Repeal Health Coverage from Over 70,000 Granite Staters 

Concord, N.H. – Instead of focusing on the priorities that will help support New Hampshire’s businesses, middle class families and economy, Frank Guinta voted yesterday to repeal health coverage from over 70,000 Granite Staters.   
 
The vote marked the 56th(!) time that House Republicans have voted to repeal and undermine the Affordable Care Act.
 
“It’s shameful but telling that Frank Guinta and House Republicans’ number one priority is not supporting our businesses, middle class families and economy, but rather trying to repeal health coverage from more than 70,000 Granite Staters,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Press Secretary Aaron Jacobs. “Repealing the Affordable Care Act would not only take away the health and economic security that comes from quality health coverage, but it would also increase the deficit and reverse our progress to slow the growth of health care costs.”
 
“The people of New Hampshire deserve elected representatives in Washington who will work together to move our economy forward, not play political games with Granite Staters’ health and economic well-being,” added Jacobs