In a strong bipartisan vote, HB 1696 as amended was passed yesterday by a final 216 to 145 margin. The amended bill includes a work requirement . To be eligible a person must spend at least 30 hours per week at work, training, community service or other qualifying work activity. Other states have attempted work requirements, but the federal government has rejected them. If the bill as written passes the NH Senate and is signed into law by the Governor and the Federal government rejects it , the House bill has a clause that requires the program be shut down as a whole.
The original had a clause that allow the program to continue but that was removed by lawmakers last month. Senator Jeb Bradley urged the House to put the clause back. The bill now heads to the Senate where it has wide bipartisan support.
“Forty-eight thousand fellow citizens will lose their health care and New Hampshire will not benefit from the inflow of $850 million federal dollars – I don’t see any reward in this scenario,” Rep. Stephen Schmidt, (R), Wolfeboro.
Of our three NH House Representatives, I was disappointed that Rep. Cordelli could not see past partisan politics and voted nay on this bill. I applaud Rep's. Crawford and Wright who both voted yea.