Opponents Critical of NH Effort to Bypass Obamacare

Friday, 20 Apr 2012 02:50 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A bill that would allow New Hampshire to join with other states in bypassing new Obamacare regulations and programs is drawing heat from opponents who say it would put the state’s most disadvantaged at risk.

Those concerns were voiced at a public hearing Thursday, where Republican sponsors of the measure, which has already passed the state House, defended it in the face of criticism that it would hurt the poor, the elderly, and the disabled, according to a report in the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Supporters say the bill would create a multistate compact that would allow New Hampshire to tailor its own healthcare system instead of accepting the “one size fits all” Medicaid and Medicare programs they fear will be the result once Obamacare is fully implemented in 2014.

“The current healthcare system is on an unsustainable path and the federal and state healthcare programs will be bankrupt if they continue on this path,” said House Deputy Majority Leader Shawn Jasper.

But critics of the plan, like Jeff Dickinson with Granite State Independent Living, said the bill’s sponsors were basically saying "trust us" to do the right thing

“I'm not real good at ‘Trust me,’” Dickinson told the hearing crowd.

According to the Union Leader, the measure pushed by the Republicans is nearly identical to legislation that’s already been approved in Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Utah, and Texas.

Other states are considering entering into a compact as well, but at least 25 states will have to be on board before Congress moves to allow states to receive federal money in the form of block grants to help implement their own healthcare programs.

That thought frightened some elderly citizens who showed up at the hearing.

“I am a Medicare beneficiary who is very satisfied with the program and the guaranteed healthcare services made available to me, even though I have a pre-existing condition,” said Joan Jacobs. “I do not want my Medicare coverage terminated by the state of New Hampshire.”

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