To The Daily Sun,
As a candidate for the New Hampshire House of Representatives, I have examined the voting record of my Tuftonboro-based opponent in District 4. I am fed up with the way important issues have been minimized in the Statehouse and in Carroll County. I basically see a voting record by elected officials who only support certain political dogmas like "no new taxes" or "only a smaller government is best" and which blindly undermine solid opportunities to have or improve life supporting benefits for District 4 constituents. This is very disappointing, and it is not acceptable. It is time for a change.
A clear example of this is our need to have a permanent expansion of the Medicaid program to cover the medical care needs of low-income individuals and families. Such an expansion was passed last spring, but it was passed (HB-1696) as a temporary measure for the third time. Even so, it was voted against each time by my Tuftonboro-based opponent. Under the current temporary expansion authorization, many of our low-income residents and families have health care coverage — 2,400 in Carroll County and 300 in District 4. Clearly, a permanent expansion of New Hampshire Medicaid Program is needed.
The three expansions of the Medicaid Program were temporary because my Tuftonboro-based opponent and his associates feel they are being fiscally prudent in approving only one or two years of funding at a time. They think it is wise to keep low-income recipients on tenterhooks at the time of renewal, causing them to not know if they will have to beg for medical care elsewhere or be properly covered.
This is, of course, is not in any way conducive to low-income recipients becoming stronger in our workforce and helping them to stay away from seeking inefficient, expensive healthcare from emergency rooms. I supported Gov. Hassan signing the current, third temporary expansion of New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program because there was no viable alternative presented. But, I want to see legislation that provides a permanent expansion of the Medicaid program. That is what is needed.
Another example is the need to once and for all recognize that Planned Parenthood is often the only resource for women by which to receive life-supporting health care. Let's stop the political games and do what's right for our fellow citizens. Permanent funding is needed. But, often building on Senator Ayotte's vocal opposition to funding this program, my Tuftonboro-based opponent says, "I oppose the state providing some funding for Planned Parenthood."
We know that for some women, Planned Parenthood is often the only resource that provides life-supporting health care. The decision process to fund Planned Parenthood, as supported by my opponent, is no more than a political game. I take Planned Parenthood and the umbrella of services it can afford to women very seriously. I will strongly support it having permanent funding.
A permanent expansion of the Medicaid program and the permanent funding for Planned Parenthood are widely recognized as the fiscally responsible way to go. The alternative is more reliance on emergency room use and more women who can never achieve personal success in their community and work places because they are financially and emotionally bogged down dealing with health and child care issues.
I have no doubt that forming fiscally responsible state and county budgets are the key to success in our state. The proper approach, however, as I learned while serving on the Tuftonboro Budget Committee, involves culling out what is really necessary from long lists of "wants," not just following a blind adherence to political dogma. This approach is what is needed in Concord and Carroll County.
I pledge to you that if I am elected I will always strive for budgets that achieve the best constituent services in the most fiscally responsible manner. I will not reject out-of-hand the funding of programs that are fiscally achievable.
I ask that you also support me and my colleague Paul Punturieri when casting your ballot for state representative in District 4 (Moultonborough, Tuftonboro and Sandwich). We promise your two votes for us will be two votes for meaningful change in Concord and Carroll County.
As was recently published in a Wolfeboro newspaper, "We think it makes no sense to send the same people back to Washington and Concord that have accomplished so little and stood in the way of meaningful change." That would include U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte and state Rep. Glen Cordelli.
Tuftonboro, Moultonborough and Sandwich
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