"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Monday, April 4, 2016

Sen. Forrester Flip-Flop on NH Medicaid Expansion?

Sure seems like it. On March 13th , she wrote this op-ed piece in the Laconia Daily Sun, where she seemed to be supporting expansion. As she wrote ".. as of September 2015, there has been a 30 percent decrease in uninsured emergency room visits, a 38 percent decrease in uninsured inpatient visits, and a 28 percent decrease in uninsured outpatient visits....If the NHHPP isn't reauthorized, 48,000 Granite Staters will lose coverage to primary and preventive health care services, but will still have access to emergency care. As a consequence, uncompensated care will go up and the burden of this care will again be shifted to businesses and taxpayers." 
She was one of seven NH Senate Republicans who voted in 2014 in favor or the program. So what changed? 
She was the only Senator who announced a run for governor. Soon after, she voted against re authorization saying the work requirement isn’t strong enough. “The best way to help people is by offering a hand up not a hand out.” Governing to get votes, not doing what is best for her constituents
There are quite a few working families in NH that simply cannot afford to buy private health insurance. It really is as simple as that. Without the ACA, they would not have health insurance.

According to Sen. Forrester's website “As Governor, whenever the politicians go after our communities, I’m going to stand with the people one hundred percent of the time.”  Just not this time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I admire your genuine concern and passion. If not about the financial collapse of the Lakes Region Hospital, then it's about a local politician struggling/fumbling to find possible solutions...Please consider this: According to the Dartmouth Atlas Study which focused on Medicare services and costs, there were cities/towns that got great patient outcomes while reducing Medicare program costs...Interesting that with recent Insurance Company mega-mergers, a similar study was embarked upon...with results causing the Dartmouth group to acknowledge that they should have included the private sector in their analysis. What was found was that potential collusion has occurred between major hospital chains and insurers...where procedure costs skyrocket, the insurer passes the increases to employers and, of course, employees'ever-increasing payroll contributions. It is said that this vicious cycle has stagnated wage growth more than any other factor in the past 20+ years. Ironically, some of the best, most efficient communities in the Medicare study had the highest costs and the greediest players on the private side. On average, a 'Medicare' knee replacement in Boston or Manchester costs less than half than a 'private/employer insurance plan' knee replacement. Differences range from $13,000 to $30,000 despite utilizing exactly the same Hospital/Surgeon/Anesthesiologist/Nurses/equipment/room and board/length of stay.
Hence, when small hospitals continue to receive less payment than procedures/treatment costs from Medicare and Medicaid...and the high profit margin specialty patients migrate to the major hospitals, the result is inevitable (see LRGH). To improve/fix this pressing issue, recommend directing the spotlight on the middle men. Good luck.