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Entries in Obamacare (1439)

Thursday
Jun042015

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]
 

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Saturday
May232015

NHDP - American Congress of OB-GYNs Opposes Kelly Ayotte’s Sham Birth Control Bill 

Salon Calls Bill “A Giant Fraud”

Concord, N.H. – Today, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) joined the growing chorus of doctors and women’s health advocates opposing Kelly Ayotte’s sham birth control bill.
 
Salon called the bill “a giant fraud.” Adding, Ayotte “wants to sell women a bill of goods. They're not buying, and neither are doctors.”
 
The Huffington Post reported that ACOG President Mark S. DeFrancesco, M.D., issued the following statement on behalf of the non-profit organization of women's health doctors:
 
“The Affordable Care Act removed many barriers to preventive care that keeps women healthy. By making contraceptives available to women without a co-pay, it has truly increased access to contraception, thereby decreasing unintended pregnancies, and allowing women to better plan their futures. Unfortunately, instead of improving access, this bill would actually make more women have to pay for their birth control, and for some women, the cost would be prohibitive."
 
“As women’s health care providers, we welcome robust and productive dialogue about the indisputable role that contraceptives play in the health, well-being, and productivity of American women. We would welcome any legislation that would do what this proposal purports to do – help women. As it stands, however, we cannot support a plan that creates one route to access at the expense of another, more helpful route.”
 
BACKGROUND
 
Planned Parenthood On Republican Birth Control Bill: “Insult To Women.” “Planned Parenthood noted that birth control pills can cost women up to $600 a year, which is now covered under the Affordable Care Act, and that the bill would take away insurance coverage for birth control that’s made available over-the-counter. The bill doesn’t expand the availability or protect the affordability of IUDs and other highly effective methods of birth control.” [Planned Parenthood, 5/21/15]
 
Ayotte Voted To Bar Use Of Funds For Planned Parenthood. In April 2011, Ayotte voted in favor of: “adoption of the concurrent resolution that would direct the House clerk to make a correction in the enrollment of a bill (HR 1473) to provide $1.055 trillion in discretionary funding for fiscal 2011, and insert a section that would bar the use of funds made available in the bill to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. or its affiliates.” The concurrent resolution was rejected 42-58. [H.Con.Res. 36, Vote 60, 4/14/11]
 
Ayotte Voted For And Was An Original Cosponsor Of The Blunt Amendment. The Blunt Amendment would have allowed employers to deny women coverage for birth control and for other important preventive health services. The American Cancer Society opposed the amendment because it would allow employers deny coverage to life-saving preventive services like mammograms. [S.Amdt. 1520 to S.Amdt. 1730 to S. 1813, Vote 24, 3/1/12; New York Times, 3/2/12]
 
Following Hobby Lobby Decision, Ayotte Issued Statement Supportive Of The Decision To Deny Some Women Contraception Coverage. “U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) released the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court’s decision on religious liberty in the case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby: ‘Americans shouldn’t be forced to comply with government mandates that violate core principles of their faith. This case is fundamentally a matter of religious freedom, and this ruling affirms Americans’ religious liberties as protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.’” [Office of Sen. Ayotte, Press Release, 6/30/14]
 
Ayotte Has Voted to Repeal the ACA; More Than 150k Women In New Hampshire Gained Access To Expanded Preventative Health Services Without Cost-Sharing Because Of The ACA. “Because of the Affordable Care Act, 76 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing, including 382,000 in New Hampshire. And women can now get coverage without cost-sharing of even more preventive services they need.  Of the 76 million Americans with expanded access to free preventive services, 29.7 million are women, including 152,000 in New Hampshire receiving expanded preventive services without cost-sharing.” [Department of Health & Human Services, 8/1/13]

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Friday
May222015

NHDP - US Sen Kelly Ayotte’s Misleading OTC Birth Control Bill

Ayotte’s “Plan” Would Force Women to Pay Hundreds of Dollars More Out of Pocket for Birth Control That is Now Free Thanks to the ACA
 
Ayotte Has Voted to Defund Planned Parenthood, Supported Allowing Bosses To Deny Women Health Insurance That Covers Their Full Health Needs, And Voted to Repeal the Affordable Care Act
 

Concord, N.H. – Kelly Ayotte’s misleading over-the-counter birth control proposal may sound good, but it’s not. Right now, women can get birth control at no cost thanks to the Affordable Care Act. But Ayotte’s “plan” would force women to pay $600 per year more in out-of-pocket costs, costing women more than $480 million a year across the country.
 
“While over-the-counter birth control may sound good, the reality is that Kelly Ayotte’s ‘plan’ would force New Hampshire women to pay hundreds of dollars per year - out of pocket - for birth control that they can get for free rightnow,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Lizzy Price“If Kelly Ayotte really cared about access to affordable birth control, she wouldn’t have voted to defund Planned Parenthood, supported allowing bosses to deny women insurance that covers their full health needs, and voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”
 
“Not only has Ayotte consistently voted for backward policies that would set women and families back economically, but now she’s trying to mislead voters about her true record. New Hampshire women won’t be fooled by Ayotte’s attempts to deceive and mislead with this latest political smokescreen,” added Price.
 
BACKGROUND
 
Planned Parenthood: Why Recent Over-the-Counter Birth Control Proposals are Really Underhanded. “Since their positions are so unpopular with voters in their states, it’s obvious why they’re trying to confuse voters by masking their real agenda: to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), take away the no-copay birth control coverage that is already available to more than 48 million women nationwide, and force women to ONCE AGAIN pay out-of-pocket for all birth control.” [Planned Parenthood, 9/8/14]
 
Ayotte Voted To Bar Use Of Funds For Planned Parenthood. In April 2011, Ayotte voted in favor of: “adoption of the concurrent resolution that would direct the House clerk to make a correction in the enrollment ofa bill (HR 1473) to provide $1.055 trillion in discretionary funding for fiscal 2011, and insert a section that would bar the use of funds made available in the bill to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. or its affiliates.” The concurrent resolution was rejected 42-58. [H.Con.Res. 36, Vote 60, 4/14/11]
 
Ayotte Voted For And Was An Original Cosponsor Of The Blunt Amendment. The Blunt Amendment would have allowed employers to deny women coverage for birth control and for other important preventive health services. The American Cancer Society opposed the amendment because it would allow employers deny coverage to life-saving preventive services like mammograms. [S.Amdt. 1520 to S.Amdt. 1730 to S. 1813, Vote 24, 3/1/12; New York Times, 3/2/12]
 
Following Hobby Lobby Decision, Ayotte Issued Statement Supportive Of The Decision To Deny Some Women Contraception Coverage. “U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) released the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court's decision on religious liberty in the case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby: ‘Americans shouldn't be forced to comply with government mandates that violate core principles of their faith. This case is fundamentally a matter of religious freedom, and this ruling affirms Americans' religious liberties as protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.’” [Office of Sen. Ayotte, Press Release, 6/30/14]
 
Ayotte Has Voted to Repeal the ACA; More Than 150k Women In New Hampshire Gained Access To Expanded Preventative Health Services Without Cost-Sharing Because Of The ACA. “Because of the Affordable Care Act, 76 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing, including 382,000 in New Hampshire. And women can now get coverage without cost-sharing of even more preventive services they need.  Of the 76 million Americans with expanded access to free preventive services, 29.7 million are women, including 152,000 in New Hampshire receiving expanded preventive services without cost-sharing.” [Department of Health & Human Services, 8/1/13]

 
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Saturday
May162015

AFP - An easy fix... 

RA-email-teaser-3

When we launched Reform America 2015, we set out an achievable agenda for lawmakers in Congress. It's full of changes they can make immediately to get government out of the way and improve lives.

Then we vowed to keep the pressure on every politician, from House to Senate, from newly-elected to veteran, from Democrat to Republican. Now, thanks to your efforts, we've had some great achievements!

As part of a monthly update, we will keep you informed about meaningful steps taken to advance these key legislative goals. Take a look at the progress below:

 



The medical device tax should be an easy fix for Congress. The U.S. is the only country on earth that imposes a tax on the sale of medical devices like insulin pumps and heart valves. As a result, these astoundingly high tax rates cripple medical innovation and increase the cost of life-saving devices.

The medical-device tax threatens thousands of jobs, disproportionally harms small businesses, and should be repealed.
Please join AFP in urging your representatives in Washington to repeal the medical device tax. Click on the "!" buttons above to demand action!
Thank you, and let's keep reforming America!

Brent Gardner
Vice President of Government Affairs
Americans for Prosperity

 
 
 
 
 
Thursday
May142015

NHDP - ICYMI: “GOP should stand proudly with Planned Parenthood” 

Concord, N.H. – Last week, Kelly Ayotte's New Hampshire Republican Party renewed its extreme position on women’s health, forcing RNC Committeeman Steve Duprey to issue an apology and admit he made a mistake for supporting Planned Parenthood.
  
Responding in a Concord Monitor op-ed, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund’s Jennifer Frizzell writes that protecting women’s health is a goal that members of both parties should be able to support “without apology.”
 
See below for the full op-ed:
 
My Turn: "GOP should stand proudly with Planned Parenthood"
By Jennifer Frizzell
http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/16870551-95/my-turn-gop-should-stand-proudly-with-planned-parenthood
 
A recent New Hampshire Republican party leader’s attendance at a Planned Parenthood event has prompted a public conversation about what it means to be both a Republican and a Planned Parenthood supporter. Of concern, the coverage to date seems to be motivated by ideological politics and ignore the reality of peoples’ lives.
 
I grew up in a New Hampshire Republican household with a steady stream of community and civic engagement. My parents raised three daughters and discussions about protecting our health and taking charge of our futures never came with a political label. Individual freedom, personal responsibility and limited government were always GOP core principles. In fact, many Republicans have told me that’s why they have long supported family planning and Planned Parenthood’s mission – to ensure all women have the information and resources they need to control their own reproductive health.
 
For nearly 100 years, Planned Parenthood has focused on the importance of providing access to reproductive health care for women and families, and in New Hampshire and across the country we depend on leaders on both sides of the aisle to help us continue this work.
 
In many parts of the country, Planned Parenthood was founded and supported by Republicans, and a number of Republican presidents have demonstrated strong commitments to federal family planning programs that provide affordable access to birth control and other preventive care.
 
Nowhere is that history more established than right here in New Hampshire, where the Legislature has a long track record of ensuring that women have access to the health services and the freedom to make decisions about their reproductive lives. 

Earlier this year, a bipartisan majority in the New Hampshire House continued this tradition by defeating an effort to block women from getting basic preventive services at health centers across the state – including affordable birth control, cancer screenings, HIV testing and other essential care. This outcome was achieved with the vote of 76 pro-women’s health Republican representatives.
 
Leadership from prominent New Hampshire Republican officials has also been critical to protecting this access to care on a national level, including the late senator Warren Rudman and former congressman Charlie Bass. Both were outspoken about the importance of ensuring women have the freedom to make their own health care decisions rather than having the government make these decisions for them.
 
Planned Parenthood serves as an essential source of primary and preventive health care in New Hampshire, with 33 percent of Planned Parenthood health centers providing care in rural or medically underserved areas. Planned Parenthood patients come from every walk of life, every part of the country, span race, gender and economic background. And the 2.7 million patients who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers each year for lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, and STD testing and treatment aren’t coming because of politics – they come because they care about their health and their lives.
 
Planned Parenthood is also proud to provide abortion, a safe and legal medical procedure that is supported by more than 73 percent of New Hampshire residents – the highest number of residents in any state in the country. And while labels don’t reflect the complexity of the issue or how people feel, a recent Suffolk University Poll shows nearly half of Republicans identify as “pro-choice” in New Hampshire. Like the majority of Americans – we can all agree that decisions about abortion should be left to a woman, her family, and her faith with the counsel of her doctor – and without government intrusion.
 
Reproductive health is not separate from economic concerns – they are deeply linked in women’s lives. When women can decide whether and when to have children, they are more able to pursue an education and achieve economic security.

We welcome a conversation about the role that Planned Parenthood health centers play in women’s lives, and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and our New Hampshire advocacy organization play in ensuring that people continue to have access to those health care and education services. By providing comprehensive reproductive care, Planned Parenthood is improving the health of women and communities and fueling a healthier economy. By advocating for laws and policies that protect women’s health, and educating voters about how candidates’ positions would affect women’s health, the Action Fund is helping to keep New Hampshire moving forward. These are goals the GOP should embrace – without apology.
 
(Jennifer Frizzell lives in Concord and works as the vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund.)

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