Entries in Obamacare (1438)
(June 11, 2015) - Gov. Maggie Hassan, who once called ObamaCare "essential to the future of our country" and "pointedly embraced" it at a campaign rally in 2012, has more recently been silent on her support of President Obama's signature legislation.
Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire caught up with Gov. Hassan to ask her about health care premiums spiking by 51 percent in New Hampshire, and whether or not she still supports ObamaCare given the negative impact it will continue to have on Granite Staters. Regrettably, as the law fails more New Hampshire residents, she has become much less willing to discuss it.
Click HERE to watch the video.
Derek Dufresne, spokesman for Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, released the following statement:
"Considering over half of New Hampshire residents disapprove of ObamaCare, 22,000 Granite Staters have lost their health insurance because of the law, and 10 of the 26 major hospitals have been cut from the Anthem network thanks to ObamaCare, we aren't too surprised Gov. Hassan is now silent on her once steadfast support of the wildly unpopular legislation.
"Middle-class New Hampshire families have already been struggling to find affordable health care, and Gov. Hassan's continued support of ObamaCare at the state level with Medicaid Expansion does Granite Staters no favors. As premiums continue to increase, Granite Staters will have Gov. Hassan to thank for skyrocketing health care costs."
Washington DC – Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, tens of thousands of Granite Staters have gained access to quality, affordable health care. But that could all be undone if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell, a lawsuit that seeks to do away with premium tax credits that have helped millions of Americans purchase health coverage through the federal insurance marketplace in about three dozen states, including New Hampshire. Despite the fact that the life-saving health coverage of nearly 40,000 New Hampshirites hangs in the balance of the decision, Senator Kelly Ayotte has had little to say on the matter, except to remind voters of her overall opposition to the ACA. Ayotte is currently is a co-sponsor of legislation fully repealing the health law and all its new consumer protections and prescription drug benefits for seniors. On the heels of welcome news this week that over 10 million Americans have enrolled in health plans under the ACA and 9-in-10 Americans now have coverage, Americans United for Change, a pro-healthcare group that has aired numerous ads in support of the ACA, challenged Senator Ayotte to explain to her constituents how exactly she plans to protect the health security of Granite Staters if the Supreme Court strikes down a crucial component to the law’s success. Does Ayotte have a contingency plan for the Granite Staters who will no longer be able to afford health coverage without these critical tax credits and cost-sharing reductions – or for the rest of New Hampshire’s health consumers whose premiums will spike in the process? Does she even care?
Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “While most legal scholars agree that this case against the health law has no merit, the Supreme Court that gave us the disastrous Citizens United decision could again choose to put politics above of the law and strip away health care from nearly 10 million Americans, including 5 million children and 40,000 New Hampshirites. If it unfortunately comes to that and Congress does not act to fix it and fix it fast, the hospital industry has warned of "a widespread and massive disruption … to the entire health care system nationwide." And it seems Senator Ayotte will be all too happy to sit by and watch the fire burn. But the consequences would extend far beyond just those who would lose their health coverage and become more vulnerable to medical bankruptcy – beyond the estimated 10,000 additional Americans who would die each year because of lost coverage. All consumers of health care will pay a price in the form of higher premiums following a surge in uncompensated emergency room care as millions of Americans suddenly lose health coverage. In fact, studies predict that individual market premiums will skyrocket up to 47 percent.
“Considering Senator Ayotte is actively trying to unravel the entire health law, don’t Granite Staters deserve to know what her detailed replacement plan is in case the Supreme Court introduces chaos and uncertainly into the marketplace in the coming days? We know Ayotte is a co-sponsor of legislation to make legal again the worst insurance industry practices like dropping people when they get sick or denying coverage to kids born with pre-existing conditions. Or was going back to the broken system where insurance companies come between patients and doctors her only plan all along?”
THE SEVERE CONSEQUENCES FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE THE SUPREME COURT RULES FOR THE PLAINTIFFS IN KING V. BURWELL [SOURCE: Center for American Progress]
Nearly 40,000 New Hampshirites would lose their insurance. According to the Urban Institute, 37,000 New Hampshirites would be unable to afford their health insurance coverage and would become uninsured if the U.S. Supreme Court repeals the tax credits available under the Affordable Care Act in the federal marketplaces.
Overall, nearly 45,000 New Hampshirites would lose an average of $2,620 in tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. According to the Urban Institute, 44,000 people would lose an average of $2,620 in tax credits and cost-sharing reductions—a total of $116 million—if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs.
Nearly 50,000 New Hampshirites have selected a marketplace plan. As of January 16, 2015, 46,642 New Hampshirites have selected a marketplace plan.
NHDP - ICYMI: Governor Hassan, Senate Democrats Express Concerns About Irresponsible Senate Republican Budget
Senate Republicans' Unbalanced Budget Will Hurt Small Businesses And Middle Class Families, Take NH’s Economy Backward.
Concord, N.H. – Governor Hassan and Senate Democrats reiterated concerns yesterday about Senate Republicans’ unbalanced budget that will hurt small businesses and middle class families, and take New Hampshire’s economy backward.
Governor Hassan told WMUR, “Any budget that’s going to pass into law this session needs to be a bipartisan budget that makes real progress for the people and businesses and economy of New Hampshire, and it needs to be balanced. And I’ve expressed to Senate leadership my concerns about the fact that the budget that passed out of committee fails to meet those standards.”
See coverage recap below:
Union Leader’s Budget Coverage
… Democrats held a news conference to say the budget plan is filled with gimmicks and big business giveaways, while failing to continue Medicaid expansion or fund the negotiated state employee pay raise.
“The Senate Republican budget undermines our economic future, sets the state on precarious financial footing, and despite the rhetoric, is neither compassionate nor responsible,” said the Senate’s Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn, D-Dalton, at a news conference Tuesday. It not only uses budget gimmicks, he said, it contains “budget-busting-big-business giveaways.”
… Democrats objected to rate reductions for the business profits and business enterprise taxes in the second year of the next biennium. The rate reductions are projected to reduce revenue by $14 million.
They also noted the Senate budget fails to restore state aid for higher education, uses money promised for roads and bridges for agency operating costs, and fails to include money for Medicaid expansion for the last six months of the biennium or $12.2 million for a negotiated pay raise for state employees.
“What kind of message are we sending to our employees?” asked Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester. “Negotiate a contract but we won’t live up to it. That is a bad omen — a bad omen.”
… Gov. Maggie Hassan’s press secretary William Hinkle said the contract was a priority for the governor, noting she said the money would be included in her budget plan before other details were released. And he said Hassan is willing to meet with Forrester, but has not had a request to do so.
… Woodburn charged some last-minute proposals were done as favors to Republican friends, such as a business tax change and moving oversight of public risk pools from the Secretary of State’s Office to the Insurance Commission.
He said while Republicans were taking care of their friends, the budget cuts mental health services, substance abuse treatment, public safety and higher education — all of which undermines efforts to build a stronger economic future.
Democrats also said the plan would not continue Medicaid expansion beyond Dec. 31, 2016, when the federal government stops paying 100 percent of the cost.
“That means 40,000 people will lose coverage and businesses will be forced to pay the hidden tax that results from cost-shifting of uncompensated care,” Woodburn said. [Full story]
NHPR’s Budget Coverage
… Democratic Senate leaders say the two-year spending plan is not in the best interest of New Hampshire residents, claiming that it is riddled with “budget gimmicks” such as double counting and unspecified budget cuts to key social services.
Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn also criticizes the plan, claiming it gives business tax breaks to “special friends” such as Planet Fitness.
“Despite the rhetoric the Senate Republican budget is neither compassionate nor responsible,” Woodburn said at a press conference at the State House.
… Governor Maggie Hassan says she has “serious concerns” with the proposal -- especially the elimination of state employee pay raises and Medicaid expansion.
The full Senate is set to vote on the budget Thursday. A final version must be signed into law by June 30. [Full story]