CONCORD – The state director of Americans for Prosperity, Greg Moore, says that Medicaid is the worst thing in the world but State Senator Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford) says that Medicaid is better than any private plan available. The two statements were made side by side in a press conference this week opposing Medicaid expansion.
A new video by Granite State Progress highlights the top 10 far-fetched and contradictory last ditch claims that fringe right-wing groups and partisan politicians made against Medicaid expansion during an hour-long press conference in New Hampshire on Wednesday, October 30th. Highlights include Cornerstone executive director Ashley Pratte’s misdirection that Medicaid expansion is tied to abortion – conveniently ignoring a 30-year old federal provision that prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used for abortions – and NH Republican Liberty Caucus executive director Aaron Day openly threatening to primary any legislator who votes with their constituents in support of Medicaid expansion over the demands of fringe special interests.
GSP Video: The Radical Right’s 10-Point Guide to Medicaid Obstruction
Top Ten Countdown Highlights:
#10: Medicaid is terrible. – Greg Moore, Americans for Prosperity-NH
#9: Medicaid is a luxury. – State Sen. Andy Sanborn
#8: Question the competence of doctors. – Former State Sen. Ray White
#7: Scream abortion, abortion, abortion. – Ashley Pratte, Cornerstone
#6: Attack Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. – Aaron Day, NHRLC
#5: Medicaid is worse than private insurance. – Greg Moore, AFP-NH
#4: Medicaid is better than any private insurance. – State Sen. Andy Sanborn
#3: Threaten to fund primary challengers. – Aaron Day, NHRLC
#2: You’re stupid if you don’t agree with us. – Greg Moore, AFP-NH
#1: Pretend there isn’t a plan.– State Sen. Andy Sanborn
BONUS: Don’t have any plan of your own. Pivot. – State Sen. Andy Sanborn
The press conference featured all of New Hampshire’s fringe conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity, Cornerstone, NH Republican Liberty Caucus, Coalition of NH Taxpayers, and Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire. Organizers also desperately listed as an ally an organization that doesn’t even exist anymore, the NH Advantage Coalition; Americans for Prosperity took over the group in 2011 and it currently has no staff or operations.
Missing from the press conference line-up were actual health policy experts, advocates, hospitals, doctors, nurses, small business owners, and constituents. That’s because the vast majority support expanding health care to 58,000 lower income Granite Staters through Medicaid expansion – so much so that during the last public hearing in August, 48 members of the public testified in support of Medicaid expansion opposite only 4 speakers against; and every single New Hampshire provider that participated in the commission hearings indicated strong support for expanding access to health care in the Granite State.
Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:
“Just like Congressional Republicans who stamp their feet and are willing to shut-down our government to get their way, radical special interest groups and politicians in New Hampshire are resorting to desperate claims and open threats to block health care coverage for Granite State families. Elected officials will have to choose whether to follow these blatant partisan schemes or instead stand with the overwhelming number of their constituents, health policy experts, and consumer advocates who strongly support Medicaid expansion.”
*** MORE ON GRANITE STATE OPINION ON MEDICAID EXPANSION ***
CONCORD MONITOR: ‘UNITED FRONT FROM HOSPITALS, DOCTORS, NURSES’
“Medical providers – hospitals and community mental health centers, doctors and nurses – presented a united front yesterday in support of expanding New Hampshire’s Medicaid program.”
WMUR: ‘EXPANDING MEDICAID = MORE COST-EFFECTIVE CARE’
“Providers said that expanding Medicaid would result in more cost-effective care to the poor. Dr. David Green of Concord Hospital said when people don’t have insurance they are more likely to wait until their illness is an emergency and seek costly emergency room care. The urology specialist said he may see a patient with an infection that could have been treated much sooner and for a fraction of the cost by a primary physician.” WMUR, Providers, public urge Medicaid expansion in NH, 08.27.13
NASHUA TELEGRAPH: ‘PUBLIC HEALTH & ECONOMIC IMPERATIVE’
“[Hospitals, nurses, doctors and other medical providers] told a special commission charged with making a recommendation to the Legislature by Oct. 15 that they are already treating many of the same people who would gain health insurance through expansion. Many go to hospital emergency rooms because they have no alternative now, they added. “We see it both as a public health and economic imperative for our state,” said Henry Lipman, speaking for the New Hampshire Hospital Association.” Nashua Telegraph, Providers, Public Urge Medicaid Expansion in NH, 08.28.13
PORTSMOUTH HERALD: ‘PROVIDERS: THIS IS WHAT WE DO’
“Tess Kuenning, president and chief executive officer of Bi-State Primary Care Association, estimated 35,000 of the 122,000 patients seen by the association’s community health centers are uninsured. Expanding Medicaid won’t tax the health care system as some fear by adding patients to doctors’ appointment calendars, she said. “These patients will not magically appear. Most are already in the system,” she said. Seacoast Online, Health workers urge expanded Medicaid, 08.28.13
GSP VIDEO: ‘NH OLD TIMER: DON’T CUT HEALTH CARE TO SPITE PRESIDENT’
“It seems that the antipathy to President Obama that has frozen the wheel to the legislature in Washington, is now blowing a cool breeze through the halls of government in New Hampshire. And I want to ask you, if you would leave 58,000 New Hampshire people uninsured and uncared for, because of antipathy to the President, shame on you. If you would spurn two-and-half billion dollars of our taxpayer money, and this economic stimulus in my book, just because of antipathy to the President, shame on you. If you would leave these 58,000 people uninsured depending on a rickety, unsubstantial of the safety net, dependent on the public purse, because of antipathy to our President, shame on you. I would ask those who object to this very rational plan to examine your conscience, look deep in your heart. Remember what you have heard today and do the right thing for all of New Hampshire, not just those underprivileged. Thank you.” – John White of Wolfeboro, NH Medicaid Expansion Commission Hearing, August 23, 2013 GSP Video: Old Timer: Don’t Cut Health Care to Spite the President, 8.27.13
MORE: GSP VIDEO: MEDICAID MATH WITH A SHREWD YANKEE FARMER
Larry Brown shares thoughts on Medicaid expansion based on the experiences of his family from some 150 years ago, when he says his Great-Grandfather John Dalton Brown was a shrewd Yankee farmer who understood the value of a dollar. GSP Video: Medicaid Math with a Shrewd Yankee Farmer