NH lawmakers weigh in on “Obamacare” replacement

Jun 24, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

On Thursday the Senate revealed the bill intended to replace the Affordable Care Act.

The bill, called the “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” repeals many parts of the Affordable Care Act. In particular, it gradually rolls back expanded Medicaid eligibility and caps state funding for Medicaid.

The bill also repeals various mandates and taxes in the Affordable Care Act and gives states more flexibility when it comes to insurance regulations. For example, the bill repeals a 3.8% net investment income tax for high income earners. It also removes the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance.

The bill does keep some of the popular parts of the Affordable Care Act, such as the provision that lets children stay on their parents’ insurance until age twenty-six.

Lastly, the bill blocks funding for Planned Parenthood for one year.

The members of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation all released statements criticizing the bill.

“If passed, [this bill] would mean less coverage for fewer people at higher costs, all while giving a tax cut to the wealthy,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. “It would significantly cut Medicaid and the program’s expansion, hurting our state’s response to the opioid epidemic, place an age tax on New Hampshire seniors, and take aim at women’s health by defunding Planned Parenthood, which provides vital healthcare services to more than 12,000 Granite State women.” 

Meanwhile Gov. Chris Sununu, state Senate President Chuck Morse, and state Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper released a letter they sent to the majority and minority leaders of the U.S. Senate. That letter does not specifically address the new Senate bill. Instead, the three Republican leaders generally express support for more state-level control over health insurance, new funding to mitigate insurance premium increases, a more gradual transition to any new Medicaid funding system, and more health care cost transparency.

As they state in the letter, “Our central message is that states need sufficient time, reliable funding, and greater flexibility in order to play their proper role in shaping and implementing solutions.” 

The Better Care Reconciliation Act will hit the Senate floor next week for amendments and votes.

Do you have an opinion on health care reform? Let us know in the comments.

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RELATED ISSUE

Affordable Care Act: Medicaid Expansion | 2 comment(s)
Was NH right to expand Medicaid eligibility, using private insurance wherever possible?

RELATED REPRESENTATIVES

Jeanne Shaheen
2 Comments

Senator, U.S. Senate (2008 - present); NH Governor (1996 - 2002)

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