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Entries in Obamacare (1433)


NHDP - Legislature’s Failure to Protect Medicaid Expansion Could Lead to Increased Rates

Legislature’s Failure to Protect Medicaid Expansion Could Lead to Increased Rates for All Granite Staters on the Health Insurance Marketplace
Concord, N.H. – After the O’Brien-Jasper House budget removed the Governor’s proposal to continue New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion plan, the Associated Press highlighted that the longer the legislature waits to act, the greater the effect could be on rates for all Granite Staters on the Health Insurance Marketplace.  
Jennifer Patterson of the state’s Insurance Department told the AP, "The decisions that (insurance companies) make and any uncertainties that result from what's going on in the legislative process, all of that gets played out in the rate development, and that is reflected across the entire private market."
Lisa Guertin, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Hampshire, told the AP, "It has huge implications on the prices people pay." 
“Even if the legislature eventually agrees to do the responsible thing and continue the state’s successful Medicaid expansion plan, by dragging their feet New Hampshire Republicans could cause increased rates for all Granite Staters on the Health Insurance Marketplace,” added New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley.  
“The evidence shows that New Hampshire’s expansion plan is working, and it’s time for members of both parties to come together and maintain our commitment to New Hampshire’s people, businesses, and economy by continuing the state’s expansion plan,” added Buckley.
Steve Ahnen and Henry Lipman: “Medicaid expansion is unquestionably helping Granite Staters”
… the question many will, and should, ask as the debate over reauthorization of the NHHPP goes on is: “Is it working?” While we are only a few months into the implementation of the NHHPP, the answer is an overwhelming “yes.” … As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to the end of the fourth quarter of 2013, hospitals across New Hampshire saw a 17 percent reduction in the number of people who were treated in the emergency department who did not have insurance. We are also seeing reductions in the number of patients being treated in the inpatient and outpatient departments as well. We will continue to monitor these trends, but we expect that number will grow as more people become eligible for the program. [Union Leader, 4/13/15]

CEI Today: Retirement reform & Obamacare, White House petition, union subsidies 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
In the News Today




IBD: ObamaCare Is Worst Possible Model For Retirement System Reform
Given the political fallout from ObamaCare — with stories of patients losing access to their doctors and choices of medical services — one would think the Obama administration would be wary of using medical analogies to sell another industry overhaul.
Yet in recently unveiling the Department of Labor's revised "fiduciary rule" governing 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts, top administration officials repeatedly invoked the doctor-patient relationship. > Read more


White House Petition Asks President to Veto of Online Gambling Ban

A week after members of Congress debated a bill that would forbid states from legalizing online gambling, the Poker Players Alliance have issued a petition asking the White House to veto the measure. In order to receive a response from the White House the petition must receive 100,000 signatures by May 2. 
Despite having legal and effectively regulated online gambling in America for more than two years, some in Congress insist that allowing states to legalize and regulate the activity is too dangerous for America. > Read more

> Interview Michelle Minton 



Washington Teachers’ Union Boss Compensation Not Unusual

A recent article in the Yakima Herald-Republic describes a union subsidy, which pays 75 percent of the teachers’ union president’s salary, as “unusual.” Unfortunately, that is far from the case, and similar compensation packages are common across the country at every level of government. > Read more

More in the news...

Has Greece Already Decided on Grexit?


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The Man Who Brought Obamacare Back to the Supreme Court



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NRSC - Time for a FULL REPEAL and REPLACEMENT of Obamacare!



We are 3 days out from the 5th anniversary of one of the most devastating pieces of federal legislation ever crafted in this country: Obamacare.

The rollout was a disaster, but the implementation is an even greater fiasco:

•    Thousands of Americans have been dropped from their insurance plans

•    Health care premiums have SKYROCKETED for many Americans

•    Obamacare’s employer mandate is set to cost American companies over $100 BILLION in fines for those who fail to comply   

•    Countless other harmful effects to our economy remain to be seen

It's time for a FULL REPEAL and REPLACEMENT of Obamacare!

Sign our petition if you agree!





NHDP - Bill O’Brien Budget Part 2: “Who Will Plow Our Roads?” 





House GOP Also Puts Medicaid Expansion “On The Chopping Block,” Repealing Health Coverage for Over 36,000 Granite Staters and Counting

Concord, N.H. – Bill O’Brien’s devastating budget cuts are continuing in Concord, as House Republicans work to slash funding for the Department of Transportation and repeal health coverage from over 36,000 Granite Staters and counting.
“In the absence of a sensible budget plan, House Republicans are simply proposing to recycle Bill O’Brien’s devastating budget that hurt New Hampshire’s families, businesses and economy,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “These are real people’s lives we’re talking about, yet House Republicans are determined to repeal health coverage from 36,000 Granite Staters and leave our roads unplowed out of pure politics.”
See below for a coverage recap of House Republicans’ “plan” to slash funding for DOT, resulting in less plowing, fewer bridge inspections, and a halt to the expansion of I-93:
The Associated Press reported that Deputy Transportation Commissioner Patrick McKenna told the House Finance Committee, "Passing this bill is not passing a budget — it's passing the buck."
Adding that McKenna explained, “the cut would mean 50 to 70 percent reductions in engineering functions, halting progress on the Interstate 93 expansion and allowing for fewer bridge inspections. It would mean a 9 percent reduction for winter maintenance, forcing the closure of 16 highway maintenance facilities across the state. In total, 321 employees — out of a workforce of around 1,650 — would lose their jobs, and 84 vacant jobs would be eliminated, he said. Cutting state money could also jeopardize federal funds.”
The Concord Monitor also quoted Gary Stevens, a DOT worker who said, “Who will plow our roads in the winter? Do you want your wife, children, grandchildren… friends or constituents to drive on unsafe roads or bridges?”
WMUR also covered House Republicans’ so-called “plan” that would result in over 300 layoffs at DOT and make New Hampshire’s roads less safe.
See below for a coverage recap of House Republicans’ “plan” to repeal health coverage from over 36,000 Granite Staters and counting:
WMUR reported, “Medicaid expansion is on the chopping block,” adding that Democrats are also “decrying a number of proposed reductions in the HHS budget: Meals on Wheels, the Sununu Youth Services Center and homeless shelters.”
The Concord Monitor reported that enrollment through Medicaid expansion “ has surpassed the state’s expectations for the first year of the program.”
Adding that “While criticized by some lawmakers at the State House, the program has earned praise from the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Hospital Association. A recent report from the hospital association found that the state’s hospitals saw a 17 percent reduction in uninsured patients’ visits to emergency rooms between 2013 and 2014, as well as a 15 percent reduction in the number of uninsured inpatient admissions.”

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

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.)
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