To The Daily Sun,
I read, with some amusement, the November 19 letter from Sharon Somers to David Horan, counsel for the Belknap commissioners and Belknap delegation respectively. It is interesting that The Laconia Daily Sun received a copy before the delegation was so favored but perhaps this underscores the public relations nature of Ms. Somers' letter. Legally, she has no right of private inquiry save that afforded her in a court of law.
In reading the powers bestowed upon the commissioners and the delegation, one can see the same system of checks and balances which is the bedrock of all of our governmental structures. If the founding fathers had wished to propagate a society featuring lords of the manor presiding over a fiefdom then Ms. Somers' legal arguments would have more merit. One infers from the attitudes and actions of the commissioners that they might indeed prefer such an arrangement but their arrogance will come to no good end.
Why not come to a county delegation meeting and see our government in action?
Rep. Richard B. Burchell
Belknap 5 - Gilmanton
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 12:32
To The Daily Sun,
It is deeply troubling that Governor Maggie Hassan is pushing the N.H. Legislature to expand Medicaid in N.H. Clearly, the governor and Legislature are being lured by the promise that the costs, tens of millions of dollars, will be paid for by the federal government. We should all remember that the federal government has already built up an unsustainable $17 trillion debt and the government continues to deficit spend for as far as the eye can see. Eventually, this kind of spending must stop — budget cuts will be made, out of necessity. Medicare, for example, is already being cut as part of Obamacare, and it is highly likely that those financial support promises made to the states will be broken as well (remember "if you like your plan, you can keep it"?).
It is clear that expanding Medicaid in N.H. will have significant future negative financial impact, due to reduced federal monies after a mere three years. What happens then? Additional sources of revenue will be required. Since N.H. can't print money like the federal government, this revenue will require an income tax or a sales tax, or an increase in property taxes or perhaps all three.
If you are as concerned as I am, please contact your representatives and ask them to stop this Medicaid expansion.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 12:29
To The Daily Sun,
It appears that the tiny evaporated Tea Party Republicans have reappeared and have resorted to the failed Bush Administrations use of scare tactics by invoking fear to the residents of N.H. with regard to the expansion of Medicaid. It never worked then and never will. This group is still missing the key element to winning. Teams win. Its basic "Winning for Dummies 101."
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 12:20
To The Daily Sun,
This is the moment, citizens of N.H. Thursday, Nov. 21, our representatives and senators will be voting to expand Medicaid in N.H. It will cost N.H. hundreds of millions of dollars. And Governor Hassan is planning to pay for it by raising taxes, and incorporating a state income tax to cover what the federal government won't pay for three years from now. In fact, they probably can't even cover it now, as deeply in debt as they are.
We must stop this now. Please call your N.H. state senators and N.H. House representatives that we don't want expanded Medicaid. Tell them to stop and think for a moment, at least until the unaffordable Health Care Act is straightened out first. Why rush into something that is part of the sinking ship of the ACA? Money, money, money. Why are we in such a rush to spend it? We don't even have it, and if this passes on Thursday, we'll have even less.
I understand that we need to take care of the unfortunates, but who wants to be considered that way? Every town has its welfare dept., churches, considerate people who are taking care of the poor and elderly. We don't NEED the federal government to come down on us and mandate that we take care of the poor. We know it!
Please don't expand the Medicaid now.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 12:16
To The Daily Sun,
In response to your recent column on Medicaid expansion, Sen. Forrester, may I say, with all due respect, that I beg to differ.
I differ markedly from you in my perception of the work of the Commission to Study Expansion of Medicaid Eligibility. Its recommendations were indeed N.H. specific, building as they did on a unique N.H. program by which Medicaid enables individuals to remain on employer-sponsored health plans (and at the same time realize approximately $35 million in budgetary savings). Its recommendations offer taxpayer protections in terms of a "trigger" which would prompt legislative action should the federal match fall below agreed-upon levels. Most importantly, its recommendations were structured around deadlines that are reasonable, achievable and based on actual experiences of other states around the nation.
I also differ from you in your depiction of the Senate GOP alternative. The issue is not about "growing government"; it is about growing access to health insurance for N.H.'s uninsured with annual incomes below $16,000. The Senate GOP plan ignores the fact that N.H. currently has only one provider in our marketplace and does not envision having more until 2015. The Senate GOP plan does not include safeguards regarding cost effectiveness, quality control or consumer protection. And, should the Senate GOP plan not meet its challenging deadlines for enactment, including the necessary federal sign-offs, then the Senate GOP would abandon Medicaid expansion altogether and the 50,000 N.H. citizens who stand to benefit.
I also differ strenuously with you on your warning about an income tax. That is fear mongering at its worst. Expanded Medicaid expenses will be reimbursed by the federal government at 100 percent for the first two years (vs. the current 50 percent) and 90 percent after that. There is simply no scenario under which an income tax would be instituted in N.H. as a result of Medicaid expansion.
I do not differ with you over the need to extend health care benefits to this population. But I am disappointed that the Senate GOP has not rolled up their sleeves alongside Governor Hassan, Speaker Norelli and Minority Leader Larsen and come to the table in good faith to come to a workable solution that brings all the good ideas together within a reasonable and well-designed time frame.
The time is now, Sen. Forrester. The vote is Thursday. $500 million dollars a day is the cost to N.H. if we do not undertake Medicaid expansion as of January 1, 2014. I cannot imagine that is a financial hit you are willing to accept.
Barbara McElroy, RN
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 12:13