• Advertisement

About NH Labor News

The New Hampshire Labor News is a group of NH Workers who believe that we need to protect ourselves against the attacks on workers. We are proud union members who are working to preserve the middle class. The NHLN talks mostly about news and politics from NH. We also talk about national issues that effect working men and women here in the Granite State.

NH Company Helps Bring Power To Puerto Rico

ReVision Energy Partners with Amicus Solar Cooperative and Amurtel to Bring Solar Outreach Systems to Puerto Rico

BRENTWOOD, NH: Local solar installer ReVision Energy is partnering with Amicus Solar Cooperative, a nationwide purchasing cooperative of solar energy companies, and Amurtel, a non-profit working in disaster relief, to build Solar Outreach Systems (SOS) to bring dozens of desperately needed portable solar energy systems to power storm-ravaged areas in Puerto Rico.

Millions of Americans living in Puerto Rico (Boriqueñas) remain without power due to Hurricane Maria, many still without passable roads, access to clean drinking water, in need of basic supplies, and unable to receive the medical care they would otherwise have with functional electricity.

“We have already secured the solar panels that will enable us to build up to 100 portable emergency power units that will power communications systems, computers, laptops, cell phones and lighting for the hardest hit areas,” said Phil Coupe, co-founder of ReVision Energy and the company’s volunteer coordinator with Amicus and Amurtel. ReVision Energy is a founding member of Amicus Solar. ReVision Energy’s N. Andover, MA warehouse will be used as a staging area to begin construction on the first portable solar power units.

Located close to the equator where there is a powerful solar resource, Puerto Rico is an ideal geography for harnessing solar energy, but with so few solar energy systems in place right now, not many businesses or homes are able to take advantage of this abundant renewable energy. Having to depend on what’s left of the island’s power grid means that many Puerto Rican communities could be without power for up to a year. The Solar Outreach Systems, which are portable community-based communication and emergency power hubs, will immediately assist on-the-ground relief efforts.

The SOS units will be deployed by the Aireko Foundation, an offshoot of Aireko Energy Solutions, which is a Puerto Rico-based member of Amicus.  These units will be loaned to the communities for the duration of their need and then be redeployed to other disaster areas as needs and events dictate.  “The aftermath of Hurricane Maria has been as difficult and often even harder than the path of the storm itself, especially for those communities in the interior of the island.  After more than a month, reestablishment of electric power for those communities is still unknown, and the quality of water is not the best – for those communities that are lucky enough to have this service, which are very few.  Sadly, those communities are far from returning to their normal lives,” said Hector Rivera Russe of Aireko Energy Solutions. “I’m deeply touched by how my Amicus partners, alongside Amurtel, have jumped without hesitation, to putting their time, resources and effort to give relief to my people in Puerto Rico.  I will always be thankful to them.”

This Amicus-Amurtel SOS partnership is actively fundraising for the Power on Puerto Rico project to design, build, and deploy 10 initial portable, off grid solar systems for remote community centers where the public can charge cell phones, rechargeable lights, radios, and other low load, high value items that will offer immediate relief to disaster victims. A goal of 100 units will be deployed through this effort. Tax deductible donations of materials, services and cash contributions are being coordinated through http://www.amurtel.org/get-involved/donate/

AMURTEL is an international volunteer organization founded in 1975 that works to help improve the quality of life for people experiencing chronic poverty or acute stress from environmental, financial, or political distress. We encourage and enable individuals and communities to harness their own resources for securing the basic necessities of life and for gaining greater economic sustainability and social and spiritual fulfillment. It is the goal of Amurtel to assist communities in their recovery and development while honoring their customs, language, and religious beliefs. www.amurtel.org

Founded in 2011, AMICUS SOLAR COOPERATIVE, is the first purchasing cooperative in the U.S. solar industry. As a member-owned company, we share best practices with each other and pool our purchasing power to obtain lower pricing on both products and services allowing us to deliver better value to our customers. AMICUS is made up of 43 member-owners, each operating under their own brand with over 60 office/service locations in 29 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Amicus is equally owned and democratically governed by its membership of independent solar photovoltaic (PV) installation companies. More information can be found at www.amicussolar.com.

For more information contact: Phil Coupe, phil@revisionenergy.com or 207-232-6595. Please visit our webpage and Facebook page for updates as the project progresses.

REVISION ENERGY is certified B-Corp and employee-owned company that specializes in the design, installation and service of solar energy systems, battery storage, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, heat pumps and LED lighting. Our mission is to transition northern New England from a fossil fuel based economy to a sustainable, renewable energy based economy. In 2017 ReVision Energy was named the #1 Rooftop Solar Installer in New England by Solar Power Industry Magazine based on the company’s reputation for exceptional customer service and unrivaled technical competence gained through the course of more than 7,000 clean energy systems placed in service since 2003.

IBEW Local 2320 Endorses Chris Pappas For Congress

Manchester, NH – Garnering his second union endorsement Chris Pappas announced that IBEW Local 2320 has endorsed  his run for Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.

“IBEW Local Union 2320 is proud to endorse Chris Pappas for Congress,” said Business Manager Steve Soule.

“Chris Pappas has been a friend and advocate for our members throughout his time in public service.  He’s someone we can trust to tirelessly fight for New Hampshire’s working families.  Washington needs more members of Congress with the values and community outlook that Chris possesses.  We enthusiastically support him in this race.”

“It’s an honor to have the support of Local 2320 in my race for Congress,” Chris Pappas said.

“Whether it’s investing in infrastructure or expanding middle class opportunity, I am committed to taking steps in Congress that will help build a brighter future for New Hampshire.  I am grounded in the people and places of this state, and I want to ensure that working families have a voice in Washington.  I am very thankful for the support of IBEW Local 2320 in this campaign.”

Local IBEW 2320 represents highly trained, professional women and men in all corners of New Hampshire.  The union is comprised of a talented group of individuals in many differing fields including Administrative Specialists, Automotive Mechanics, Building Equipment Mechanics, Circuit Design Specialists, CDL A & CDL B Truck Drivers, Community College Professors, Customer Service, Equipment Installation Technicians, Facility Design & Inventory Specialists, Fiber Splice Technicians, HVAC Technicians, Information Technology Specialists, Line Construction, Payroll Processing, Power Distribution Technicians, Security Officers, Stock Room Attendants, and Workers in the Nuclear Industry.

Pappas was recently endorsed by the Teamsters Union local 633.

Some Would-Be Speakers of the NH House Decline to Debate Ethics, House Procedure

Non-partisan candidate forum to be held Saturday at 2pm, at the New England College in Concord

Since the announcement by Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper that he may be stepping down to fill the role of agriculture commissioner, many Republicans have thrown their hats in the ring for House Speaker.  However, while many attended the Freedom Caucus conservative policy-based forum, only a few have agreed to debate other candidates regarding the actual non-partisan role of Speaker, House procedure, or ethics.

In answer to the Freedom Caucus’ forum asking policy questions such as those regarding taxes and abortion, the 55-member NH House Progressive Caucus decided to host a non-partisan candidate forum focusing only on issues of ethics and procedure, with no political questions or litmus tests.

Of the declared candidates, only two Republicans, Rep. James McConnell (North Swanzey), and Rep. Steve Smith (Charlestown) have agreed to participate.

They will be joined by Democratic candidate Stephen Shurtleff (Penacook).

Rep. John Burt (Goffstown), who recently released a letter explaining his walkout at the Freedom Caucus forum, initially had confirmed but cancelled, due to family matters.

Republican candidate Rep. McConnell expressed his enthusiasm for the non-partisan forum, explaining, “I am looking forward to it!  I think it’s important that we take advantage of every opportunity to sit down with members of the House and discuss the matters that should be important to all of us.  It is important to note that this is only the second opportunity we have had to discuss these things publicly.”

Recognizing the importance of the Speaker’s duties, outgoing Speaker Shawn Jasper notes that, “It is critically important that the Speaker of the House be totally impartial in presiding over the House.  Every member deserves the same courtesy as any other.  Maintaining decorum of the House that allows debate to be open and free is a really important job.”

“With all the ethical issues and questionable procedures that have occurred in the House in the last few years, I cannot imagine a more important event for anyone seeking to become Speaker.  We welcome all the candidates and hope that those who aren’t planning to can find a way to attend”, invited Progressive Caucus convener, Rep. Ellen Read.

The House Speaker Candidate Forum Part II – Ethics and Procedure will be held this Saturday, November 18th at 2:00pm, at the New England College, 62 N. Main Street, Concord.  The public is invited to attend, and will have the opportunity to submit questions for the candidates.

NH Workforce Development Leaders Mark National Apprenticeship Week at Local Clean Energy Company

Brentwood, NH – On Thursday, November 16th, ReVision Energy hosted a special Apprentice Appreciation event with state leaders in business, labor, and education, as well as local solar apprentices, at the company’s Brentwood, New Hampshire office and warehouse. The event came just in time for the U.S. Department of Labor’s third annual National Apprenticeship Week, a nationwide effort to promote a highly-skilled workforce that can meet the talent needs of employers across a wide range of industries.

Representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor, NH Departments of Education and Veterans Affairs, Electrical Contractors Business Association, International Association of Electrical Inspectors Local 490, Lakes Region Community College, and Dover Career Technical Center attended to show their support for the local apprentices and encourage more young people and businesses to take advantage of apprenticeship opportunities. In addition to formal presentations, the public event included tours of the ReVision Energy office and warehouse, and refreshments.

“Like many organizations and businesses across the country, ReVision Energy has faced a shortage of skilled workers to power the clean energy transition and bring down electricity costs for everyone,” said James Hasselbeck, Operations Manager for ReVision Energy. “Our apprenticeship program is a direct response to that challenge and we are seeing first-hand the unique value that apprentices bring to our industry and the larger workforce.”

Hasselbeck added that ReVision Energy’s state-registered apprenticeship program combines on-the-job training and classroom-based instruction toward certification in a valuable trade as an electrician or plumber. All costs associated with training and certification are covered by the employer and apprentices earn a paycheck throughout their four-year training process.

Several of ReVision Energy’s current and former apprentices spoke at the event alongside local business and community leaders. Carley Williams, a solar installer, project manager, and current electrical apprentice, said she strives to set an example for others, especially women interested in trade careers.

“It’s very important for people to see that it’s possible,” Williams said, noting that oftentimes profitable and meaningful careers like solar installation and electrical work are not necessarily promoted as an option for women.

“Unfortunately, many women and men don’t realize that these apprenticeship opportunities are out there,” added Nathan Poland, ReVision Energy’s Electrical Coordinator and former apprentice. Poland noted that the average electrical apprentice completes his or her program with a certification, a job, no college debt, and an average starting salary of $50,000 a year. Many apprentices also attend college before or after their program, which puts them in an even stronger position to grow in their career.

The US Department of Labor (DOL) reports that for every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity. They also enjoy better recruitment rates and reduced turnover as apprentices have the opportunity to advance in their field. For their part, apprentices receive a debt-free education in valuable skills, and have a much higher rate of finding a job immediately after graduating.

In 2016, DOL reported that NH had 2,071 active apprentices in 213 registered programs, which can be sponsored by the government, institutions, or private businesses. ReVision Energy currently has 12 apprentices and has had over 20 since the start of their program in 2012.

Lauren Smith, the State Director of the Office of Apprenticeship of the DOL, said that demand for the programs is increasing, and they are expanding even beyond trades. She noted the Community College System of NH recently received a federal grant to expand their apprenticeship programs and praised local businesses for hiring apprentices and providing the necessary mentorship and support.

“When I hear the stories tonight, I am excited to hear that [the apprenticeship programs] are working,” Smith concluded.

For Heather Iworsky, ReVision Energy’s Brentwood Branch Manager, apprenticeships are part of the company’s DNA. “We are a local business committed to providing good jobs, a fun atmosphere, and great culture, and we want to celebrate our apprentices and show people in the community that you can ‘stay, work, and play’ right here in New Hampshire,” Iworsky said.

Senator Hassan Helps Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Breastfeeding Protections at Work

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Maggie Hassan announced that she helped introduce the Supporting Working Moms Act of 2017. This bipartisan legislation would help ensure that more working mothers can continue to breastfeed their babies after they return to work.

This bill builds on an existing law authored by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney in 2010 that provides space and time for hourly employees to pump breastmilk at work. The Supporting Working Moms Act would extend these protections to salaried workers.

“Ensuring that women can continue to breastfeed when returning to the workplace is critical to the health and well-being of mothers and babies, and it is essential to our country’s economic stability,” Senator Hassan said. “This bipartisan bill is a common-sense measure to help ensure that women can remain in the workplace while supporting the health of their children and contributing to our nation’s economic success. I will continue fighting to ensure that women have the freedom to make their own health care decisions and are not held back from participating in our economy because of outdated policies.”

According to the Business Case for Breastfeeding, published by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2014, employers that provide support for breastfeeding mothers experience lower health care costs, lower rates of absenteeism, and better retention of experienced employees.

The Supporting Working Moms Act would help new parents and babies by expanding the breastfeeding provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act to cover salaried office workers:

  • The 2010 Merkley-Maloney provision amended Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide mothers who are classified as non-exempt employees with reasonable break times to pump milk in a private, non-bathroom environment while at work.
  • The Supporting Working Moms Act would expand this provision to cover salaried employees who work in traditional office environments.
  • The expansion would cover an additional approximate 13.5 million executive, administrative, and professional women in the workplace.

The Supporting Working Moms Act is endorsed by the following national organizations:

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

American Association of Birth Centers

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Baby Cafe USA

Breastfeeding in Combat Boots

Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals Association

HealthConnect One

Healthy Children Project, Inc.

Human Milk Banking Association of North America

International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners

Mom2Mom Global

MomsRising

National Association of County and City Health Officials

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

National Partnership for Women & Families

National WIC Association

Kuster And Bipartisan Legislators Introduce Legislation Addressing Sexual Harassment In Congress

Rep. Speier, Sen. Gillibrand & Reps. Kuster, Costello and Poliquin Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Prevent & Respond to Sexual Harassment in Congress

(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), along with Representatives Ryan Costello (R-PA), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), and Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) introduced bipartisan, comprehensive legislation to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in Congress. The Member and Employee Training and Oversight On (ME TOO) Congress Act will require more transparency, overhaul the flawed complaint process, and provide better support for victims and whistleblowers. Additionally, both the House and Senate bills will require mandatory annual training for Members and staff, implement climate surveys to show the true scope of this problem, give interns and fellows the same protections as full-time staff, and end forced mediation.

“In 1995, Congress created the Office of Congressional Compliance to protect itself from being exposed, and it has been remarkably successful. Twenty years later, 260 settlements and more than $15 million have permanently silenced victims of all types of workplace discrimination,” said Rep. Speier. “Zero tolerance is meaningless unless it is backed up with enforcement and accountability. Today, I am proud that my colleagues in the House and the Senate, from both sides of the aisle, are joining me to end the era of impunity for disgraceful behavior and to protect the survivors.”

“We need to create a workplace climate where our staff members can come in and do their jobs without having to worry about being harassed – and if it does happen, they should be able to report the incidents without fear of retaliation, and without having to fear that it will ruin their careers,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Congress should never be above the law, Congress should not play by their own set of rules, and as elected officials, we should be held to the highest standards – not the lowest. This needs to change. We need accountability and we need transparency. We need reform, and we need it now. Congress needs to set a better example, and I urge all of my colleagues to join me in supporting this fight.”

“While many, if not most, Congressional offices, mine included, have policies in place regarding sexual harassment, this legislation will require annual sexual harassment training, and bring greater transparency and accountability to procedures for filing and investigating a complaint,” said Rep. Costello. “It is appropriate for the federal government to lead on this issue. This bill is an important step forward in supporting a professional work environment, and I hope to see it signed into law.”

“If we’re going to confront the challenge of sexual assault and harassment, we need to start with lawmakers and people in power,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “In recent months there has been a national groundswell of people coming forward to share their stories. This powerful conversation is letting others know that the experience of sexual harassment and violence is sadly all too common. As a young staffer I was assaulted by a guest of the Congress and had no training for how to respond, who to turn to, or what my rights were. This legislation is an important part of the conversation that will lead to real change in the way the House of Representatives responds to sexual harassment. I’m committed to continuing to work across the aisle to foster safer environments in all workplaces, on college campuses, in our military, and throughout our communities.”

“Every employee should always feel safe and comfortable in their own workplace, and it’s past time that Congress acts to ensure the employees in the Legislative Branch have the support to act on and prevent sexual harassment,” said Congressman Poliquin. “I applaud Congresswoman Speier for her bravery in bringing this issue to the forefront and am proud to work across the aisle and across the Capitol to make these necessary fixes. There can be no tolerance of any kind for sexual harassment anywhere—period.”

Earlier this month, Reps. Speier (D-CA), Costello (R-PA), Brady (D-PA), and Poliquin (R-ME) introduced the bipartisan H.Res. 604, the CEASE Resolution. It would require all members and staff of the House of Representatives to undergo annual sexual harassment prevention and response training. On Tuesday, Speaker Paul Ryan announced that House members and their staff will now be required to undergo mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training. Last week, the Senate passed a resolution instituting similar requirements.

A copy of the bill text, and a section-by-section summary of the bill are attached to this release.

METOO Congress Bill Text FINAL (002)
FINAL Section by Section ME TOO CONGRESS (004)

 

“Not One Penny” Hosts Rally Against GOP Tax Proposal

Rally Comes As House Prepares to Vote on GOP Tax Proposal Tomorrow

Leader Schumer: “They’re taking away money from the middle class and working people’s health care so they can cut taxes for the rich. Shame on them.”

Leader Pelosi: “We will stand firm against the Republican efforts to cheat, swindle, and scam the American people.”

Washington, D.C. — As the House prepares to vote on massive tax cuts for the top one percent on the backs of working families, hundreds of activists and advocates rallied at the U.S. Capitol with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to demand not one penny in tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations. This comes the day after Republican leadership announced revisions to the Senate tax plan that would leave an additional 13 million Americans uninsured and inflate premiums for working families to pay for massive tax cuts for wealthy corporations.

Speakers at the rally, including numerous Members of Congress, the heads of progressive organizations, and constituents harmed by the tax plan, also demanded that President Trump release his tax returns so the American people know just how much he and his donors stand to gain from a tax bill that benefits the wealthy and well-connected.

“The Republican tax bill is a shameless tax scam of staggering proportions,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “Republicans are hiking taxes on tens of millions of middle class families, all just to give deficit-exploding handouts to corporations and the wealthy. Democrats in Congress are proud to stand with Americans across the country to demand ‘Not One Penny’ for the 1 percent. Together, we will stand firm against the Republican efforts to cheat, swindle, and scam the American people.”

“They’re taking away money from the middle class and working people’s health care so they can cut taxes for the rich,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. “Shame on them. It’s unbelievable: 13 million people will lose health care and premiums will go up 10 percent, all so the wealthy and powerful in America can get a huge tax break. No American wants that.”

“The Republican tax bill threatens our country.” said Representative Lloyd Doggett, Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Tax Policy and Congressman from Texas. “It is wrong. It’s all about financing tax cuts for those sitting way up top the economic ladder and the giant multinational corporations that have exported so many American jobs.”

“This is the most audacious bank heist in U.S. history,” said U.S. Senator from Oregon, Jeff Merkely. “They want to drain the national treasury, put us in debt, cut other programs, all in order to help the very richest Americans.”

“This bill is about enriching the wealthiest in our country and corporate special interests on the backs of our country’s middle class,” said New York’s 14th congressional district Representative, Joe Crowley. “The 1 percent will benefit because it will increase our debt by $2.3 trillion dollars. And that means we’ll have to cut Social Security and cut Medicaid. It’s a setup.”

“This bill is a classic bait and switch. It’s a con artist’s dream, and we are not buying it,” said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President of the National Education Association. “One of the things we looked at in this bill is how it’s going to impact our students. For the kids in your life, this is the civics lesson of our time. There is a right answer and a wrong answer when this bill hits the floor. They didn’t do their homework, and we’re sending them back with a great big no.”

“How will they make up for millions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy? ” said Anna Corbin from the Little Lobbyists, and the mother of two kids with complex medical needs. “It’s pretty clear they’re going to come after us. They could get rid of the deductions that many families who have children with complex medical needs rely on, or they could cut Medicaid. Of course, there’s always the option that they’ll do both, and they’ll take away our Medicaid lifeline. Cutting taxes means cutting services. Not one penny can be taken from children with complex medical needs. Not one penny can be given to the wealthy at the expense of those who need it most. And not one penny can be sacrificed when our children’s lives, lifelines, and livelihoods are under attack.”

The rally was coordinated in partnership with Tax March, Americans for Tax Fairness, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Communications Workers of America, Indivisible, League of Conservation Voters, Little Lobbyists, Main Street Alliance, MoveOn.org, Patriotic Millionaires, Stand Up America, and others.

Recent analysis shows that Republicans’ framework is designed to shower even more benefits on millionaires and wealthy corporations as time goes by, while at least 25 percent of taxpayers would pay more by 2027.

The video of the rally can be viewed here, or below.

 

NH Insurance Department Issues Guidance to Consumers on Finding Help with Insurance Enrollment

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Insurance Department encourages consumers who need to select a health insurance plan during the open enrollment period to seek the help of an insurance agent or broker or a Federal Navigator, if needed. Residents can receive assistance from these types of in-person assisters at no additional cost during the open enrollment period. Open enrollment began November 1 and ends December 15, 2017.

Insurance agents and brokers can assist consumers with enrolling in a health insurance plan through HealthCare.gov, through an agent or broker, or directly from an insurer. Agents and brokers can recommend specific plans to their clients based on their health care needs and budget, and appointments are free during open enrollment. The Insurance Department encourages consumers who do not receive premium assistance on HealthCare.gov to seek help from an agent or broker to identify all plan options. The Insurance Department website features a federally-created list of agents and brokers who are certified to sell plans on HealthCare.gov, although many also sell plans outside of HealthCare.gov. Consumers may also visit the Find Local Help tool on HealthCare.gov to find a local agent or broker.

Navigators are funded and trained by the federal government to provide free help to consumers, small businesses, and their employees as they look for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms. They are required to be unbiased, meaning they cannot recommend a specific plan. Certified Application Counselors are certified by the federal government and are based at nonprofit organizations and hospitals. NH residents can find a Navigator using the Find Local Help tool on HealthCare.gov.

Even if consumers like their 2017 plan, they should still shop and compare options for 2018, and they can do this with in-person help. The options available are changing for 2018, meaning some 2017 plans may not be available. All Minuteman Health plans will terminate on December 31, 2017. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care will not offer its New Hampshire Network plans on HealthCare.gov for 2018, but it will offer its ElevateHealth Network. If NH residents have the Harvard Pilgrim New Hampshire Network, they will need to review their provider needs and select a plan accordingly. Network and prescription drug formulary information for 2018 plans sold on HealthCare.gov can be found here.

Plans may also change their in-network providers and prescription drug coverage from year to year. If consumers don’t take any action, HealthCare.gov will automatically enroll them in a plan that is considered “similar” to their current plan; but that plan may not have a similar premium, and their doctors and prescription drugs may not be in network.

NH residents with 2017 coverage received a renewal letter from their insurance company – but the letter’s estimate of what they may pay in monthly premium might be not accurate if they receive a subsidy. This is because precise subsidy information was not available at the time the letters were prepared. If a consumer qualifies for subsidies on HealthCare.gov, the Insurance Department encourages those individuals to use the plan preview tool to get an estimate of their subsidy and premium amounts for 2018.

The NH Insurance Department Can Help:

More information for New Hampshire residents about open enrollment may be found on the Insurance Department’s website. If you have questions about or issues with using the Marketplace and obtaining coverage, please call the federal government at (800) 318-2596. Once you have coverage, please contact the Insurance Department with questions or concerns at 1-800-852-3416 or (603) 271-2261, or by email at consumerservices@ins.nh.gov.

Shea-Porter, Walz Secure TRICARE Fairness Provision in Final Bicameral Defense Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), a four-term member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Congressman Tim Walz (MN-01), Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, announced the inclusion of their provision to extend TRICARE health benefits currently available to Active Component forces to deployed reserve component service members in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), as reported out of the Conference Committee.

“Our National Guard and Reserve members deserve the same benefits as those they serve alongside,” said Rep. Shea-Porter. “With this fix, all our overseas troops and their families will now have access to TRICARE health benefits, both before and after deployment. I was glad to work with Congressman Walz on this legislation, and I thank him for serving our nation and then being a tireless advocate for all those who served.”

“This is about recognizing the sacrifice of all our men and women who volunteer freely to serve this nation,” said Rep. Tim Walz. “Ensuring fairness in TRICARE health benefits to National Guard and Reserve Component troops who answer the call to serve right alongside their Active Component counterparts is the right thing to do. I thank Rep. Shea-Porter, our VSO partners, and most importantly, our veterans, servicemembers and military families for fighting to bring these brave Americans and their loved ones the peace of mind that comes with knowing they will now be eligible for TRICARE health benefits.”

The provision was first introduced as part of H.R. 1384, the Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act, a comprehensive, bipartisan bill to provide fairness to certain mobilized National Guard and Reserve Component service members by extending eligibility for certain benefits. H.R.1384 was sponsored by Walz and co-introduced by Shea-Porter and Reps. Palazzo (MS-04) and Franks (AZ-08).

In October, Shea-Porter and Walz wrote to the NDAA conferees to urge them to retain Section 503 of the House NDAA, which would authorize Reserve Component members activated under the authority provided by either §12304a or §12304b of title 10, United States Code, to receive pre-mobilization and transitional TRICARE health care. Their letter was cosigned by Reps. Palazzo, Rosen, Moulton, Brown, Jones, Stivers, Bordallo, Lamborn, Hanabusa, Moore (WI), Gonzalez, DesJarlais, McGovern, Radewagen, and Gallego.

 

A large number of veterans and military organizations supported the fix, including the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), the Military Coalition (TMC), the Reserve Officers Association (ROA), the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), the National Military Family Association, the Air Force Association, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), and the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

 

Trump Nominated Former ELI LILLY President To Lead Health and Human Services

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan, member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, released the following statement after President Trump announced Alex Azar as his nominee for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services:

“As New Hampshire and states across the country continue to be devastated by the fentanyl, heroin, and opioid crisis, and as the Trump Administration continues working to strip health insurance coverage away from hard-working Granite Staters and Americans, it is essential that we have a leader at the Department of Health and Human Services who puts the health and well-being of patients first. I look forward to evaluating Mr. Azar’s experience and qualifications for the role, including his commitment to joining us in our efforts to lower the cost of prescription drugs given his past work in the pharmaceutical industry. I will always stand up for the health and well-being of the people of New Hampshire, and will thoroughly evaluate Mr. Azar’s nomination during the confirmation process.”

Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans is troubled by this pick and says that putting Azar in charge of HHS is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

“Prescription drug costs are the top driver behind high medical costs in this country, hurting retirees and all consumers. By nominating a drug corporation insider to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, President Trump appears to be putting a fox in charge of the henhouse.”

“Congress must ask tough questions of this nominee during the confirmation process. In particular, Mr. Azar should be asked whether he supports giving Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices, the way that Medicaid and the Veterans Administration do today,” said Fiesta.

  • Subscribe to the NH Labor News via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 12,489 other subscribers

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement