Grassroots Opposition to Medicaid Expansion bill Grows
From the Union Leader "Granite Status"
WEDNESDAY,FEB. 26: GRASSROOTS OPPOSITION BUILDING. Opposition is building in local Republican committees in New Hampshire to the compromise health insurance expansion plan unveiled earlier this month by a combination of top state Senate Republicans and Democrats.
City committee chair Tammy Simmons said the hope was to "send a
message" to the Republican state senators ahead of an expected vote on the
bill in early March.
Since then, we've learned that the following Republican committees have passed
similar resolutions: Rockingham and Strafford counties, and the towns of
Bedford, Plaistow and Merrimack.
While that's a small number of committees, they are among the largest and most
The bill would essentially expand private coverage to at least 50,000
Medicaid-eligible Granite Staters through subsidized coverage and would end
when federal funding drops below 100 percent unless the Legislature votes to
continue it. Republicans supporters are not calling it "Medicaid
expansion," but Republican opponents and Democratic supporters are doing
It is the brainchild of Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, and Senate
Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, in conjunction with Senate Democratic
leader Sylvia Larsen of Concord, and it has the support of Democratic Gov.
Despite the opposition being expressed by grassroots GOP activists, the bill is
expected to pass the Senate easily and move onto the Democratic-controlled
House, where it is also expected to pass.
All 11 Senate Democrats are expected to vote for it, along with Republicans
Morse, Bradley, John Reagan, Nancy Stiles and Bob Odell. More may join them.
The resolutions passed so far point out that the state Republican Party
platform opposes "the implementation of Obamacare in New Hampshire,"
and Medicaid expansion is a component of the Affordable Care Act.
In Concord, the state Republican Party executive committee discussed the local
resolutions at a recent meeting, but no motion or resolution was brought up for
a vote, according to Manchester GOP chair Simmons who is a member of the state
party executive committee.
Simmons said the consensus was "that the best way to get our message out
to the senators would be that it come from the individual committees."
State GOP chair Jennifer Horn told us today, "There is a healthy debate
about the Senate's health care compromise taking place among Republicans. This
sort of debate and discussion within a political party is natural and nothing
"As we've always done, I am confident that come November, Republicans will
unite behind our candidates and rally around our fiscally responsible solutions
to address the difficult issues facing our state and our nation," she
Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, a conservative issue advocacy group, is
supporting the local GOP committees' moves, while planning to continue its own
opposition to Medicaid expansion with paid online advertising on
"Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire has been working hard in recent weeks
to give voice to the countless number of Granite Staters who recognize that
Obamacare's Medicaid expansion will lead to higher taxes and longer wait times
in the Emergency Room," said group founder Mike Biundo. "SB 413
brings the tentacles of Obamacare directly into New Hampshire."
Then, Biundo cautioned, "Republicans in the State Senate who are thinking
about voting for SB 413 should think long and hard about those they represent
because there are a lot of us who do not support this bill whatsoever."