Where does the public stand on proposed DHHS cuts? - 556 responses

Mar 18, 2015

Citing lower revenue estimates than those cited in Gov. Maggie Hassan’s budget proposal, the House Finance Committee proposed reducing funding for the Department of Health and Human Services by approximately $180 million. Proponents of the cuts argued they were necessary to balance the budget without relying on new revenue sources, but opponents countered that the effects of the cuts could prove devastating to the state’s most vulnerable population. On March 18th, the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) asked Facebook members to weigh in on the issue, posing the question. “Do you agree with the House Finance Committee’s proposal to reduce funding for Health and Human Services in New Hampshire?”

Of those directly answering the question, 81% argued against the proposed cuts, with only 19% in favor. Thirty-seven percent of total respondents opted not to give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to broader issues. In sum, the LFDA received 179 specific comments plus 443 concurrences for a total of 556 citizen responses. 

Opponents of the cuts argued that spending on health and human service programs should remain a top priority for NH. “What kind of society are we, that we would consider cutting funding for those of us who need it most?” one commenter said. “These cuts are reckless and irresponsible,” another stated. “Those that need care are hardly getting it now,” a third pointed out. 

Those in favor of the cuts argued for their necessity. “You have to make money before you spend it,” one said. “Balance the budget just like the rest of us have to do,” another argued. “Less government and more local charity independent of government is a better idea,” a third poster suggested. 

Those addressing their comments to broader issues discussed their thoughts on health and human services programs such as Medicaid  and food stamps, or shared suggestions about the funding issue. “A simple flat tax system would solve that problem for everyone,” one commenter said. “Private charity and support groups can do this more efficiently,” another suggested. 

Click here to see the full Facebook discussion for this question. 

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