The federal government published information on proposed rate increases for New Hampshire’s Obamacare Health Insurance Exchange for 2018, yesterday. As expected it showed that consumers in the individual market will likely face increases of more than forty percent, which New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny said was, quote:
“alarming, especially for the 94,000 New Hampshire residents who obtain their insurance through the individual market.”
Sevigny blamed quote “continued uncertainty at the federal level” for the increase and said the Department of Insurance was quote:
“actively engaged to identify options to lessen the impact on the thousands of families who rely on the state health insurance exchange to get their insurance.”
A plan Sevigny brought forward to tax all insurance providers in the state to create a high risk pool that would offset the massive losses of companies providing policies through the exchange was rejected by the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee and by Governor Christopher Sununu who sent Sevigny back to the drawing board. We’ve linked to the full announcement released by the Department of Insurance so you can get all of the details in their original horror from this news read at Girard at Large dot com.
In reaction to the news, Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, a primary reason why we have Expanded Medicaid in this state, thank you very little, issued a statement in conjunction with District Twelve Senator Kevin Avard, Republican from Nashua, saying that Sevigny’s proposal to tax insurers won’t solve the problem saying that the proposed premium hikes would still be around thirty five percent. They also said the tax would cost employers who provide insurance to their employees about five dollars per employee.
“The dilemma New Hampshire faces is raising costs on employers in the group market to scarcely lower projected increases in the individual market. That is not our definition of success.”
“Further, this plan in no way guarantees that insurance companies will stay in New Hampshire’s individual market, nor provide significant relief to skyrocketing health insurance premiums, and it lacks support by the Governor. Adopting this plan would have essentially subsidized a broken health insurance system created in Washington, with no guarantee of enhanced stability in the individual marketplace. This is too much effort to maintain a broken system with too little benefit for New Hampshire citizens.”
The pair supported Sununu’s call for Washington to step up to the plate and fix the problem it created for the states.
Meanwhile, First District Congressional Candidate Eddie Edwards, Republican from Dover, issued a statement condemning Congress for taking a five week summer vacation. Said Edwards quote:
“With few accomplishments to account for, the House of Representatives has regrettably decided to quietly embark on a five week break. How shameful.
“The career politicians on Capitol Hill have been unable to fulfill their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. They haven’t developed a plan to pass meaningful tax reform or set a path to deliver on the countless promises they made to the American people. We deserve better.
“While I am extremely disappointed in House leadership for allowing our elected officials to go on an undeserved summer vacation, I am equally disgusted at partisan politicians like Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. For members of Congress like her, their entire political careers have been a steadfast refusal to find common ground or achieve real solutions.”
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Manchester’s Safe Station program continues to grow. In case you’ve not heard about it, must be new to town, that’s the program that enables addicts of any drug to walk into a Manchester fire station and be referred to drug treatment and rehabilitation. As of the end of July, there had been two thousand sixty three visits made by one thousand four and thirty seven people since the initiative was launched in May, 2 0 1 6. Six hundred twenty six visits came from three hundred twenty nine people who made the trip more than once. Three hundred forty three folks have been transported to the hospital after being evaluated.
In response to a request from a reporter, Emergency Medical Services Officer Christopher Hickey released a monthly breakdown of the number of visits for the first time since the program’s inception. It showed addicts made one hundred seventy six visits to a Manchester fire station in July, the second highest month on record; the first being one hundred eighty two in January. Those seeking help have come from well over one hundred New Hampshire communities, thirteen states, someone from South Carolina just came through the program, and from as far away as Oregon. Only about one third of the folks seeking services in Manchester are actually residents of the Queen City, just in case you still thought this was a Manchester problem.
The Town of Auburn is offering three wooded lots in the Sun Valley area for sale at absolute auction. The auction will be held at the Sun Valley Park off Appletree Road on Saturday, August 26th at 10:00 AM. James R. St. Jean Auctioneers has been retained to sell the three properties which were acquired by Tax Collector’s Deed.
We’ve linked to the brochure providing detailed information on the auction and the properties being offered. We’ve also linked to the page on the auctioneer’s Web site with additional photos and information. Looks like some pretty sweet land near the town’s center.
That’s NEWS from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!