House Republicans Comment on Passage of SB413

CONCORD – House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett) and Ranking Republican on the House Finance Committee, Neal Kurk (R-Weare) offered the following statements in reaction to the House vote on SB413, relative to access to health insurance coverage. The bill passed the House by a 202-132 vote

House Republican Leader Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“The majority of House Republicans weren’t convinced this bill is the right solution for New Hampshire. There are a number of Republican members who won’t vote for any program tied to the failed Obamacare law and the vote today reflected that. There are concerns about how the state will be able to pay for this type of entitlement expansion in perpetuity and if that could lead to significant budget problems down the road. This type and scale of program represents the largest increase in spending New Hampshire has seen for some time, and it is dependent on funding from the federal government which can’t seem to keep many promises.”

“In order to implement SB413 as written, the State requires approval from the federal government. Until then, we will be expending resources on something that may never fully materialize. Getting that approval prior to starting the program is common sense. Any household would want their permit approved prior to starting a large addition. If the waivers aren’t approved, we’ll have expended resources on startup and implementation costs and we’ll have extended coverage to citizens only to reverse course.”

Rep. Neal Kurk (R-Weare), Ranking Republican, House Finance Committee

“Republicans offered common sense amendments to add reasonable financial safeguards to the bill. We believe that if New Hampshire enters into this expansion of Obamacare, we should to our best to eliminate our exposure to fiscal disaster. Waivers should be in place before any aspect of any program moves forward. Cost and enrollment estimates are just estimates. There should be some mechanism by which the program cost or enrollment cannot balloon out of control.  The cost of insuring the 50,000 able-bodied but low-income adults who, it is estimated, will qualify for the  program is significant – about $340 million a year once the program is up and running. When the federal funding share drops we need protections from runaway costs.”