Shaheen and Hassan Criticize GOP Health Care Bill; Urge Residents To Speak Up

May 8, 2017

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan speaking in Concord on Monday.
Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR

New Hampshire’s United States Senators are criticizing the health care legislation passed by the House last week, saying it would undercut efforts to curb the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Speaking in Concord Monday, Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan criticized the American Health Care Act for its elimination of the Medicaid expansion program.

As Governor, Hassan helped usher in Medicaid expansion, which has enrolled more than 50,000 low-income residents in the state. Advocates say it's been a key way for people with substance abuse issues to receive treatment.

“In the midst of this crisis, we should be ensuring that those seeking help can get the care that they need, and rolling back critical protections is truly unconscionable,” said Hassan.

The ACHA, which the Senators referred to as ‘Trumpcare,’ would open the door for insurers to charge more for people with pre-existing conditions. The plan also changes the structure of subsidies meant to bring down the cost of premiums, resulting in larger benefits for younger Americans, but more expensive policies for older residents.

Republican Senators have stated they will make changes to the House-passed version. Senator Shaheen was critical of GOP leadership for not appointing any female Senators to the select group that will craft a new plan.

Both Hassan and Shaheen encouraged Granite Staters to speak up in support of the Affordable Care Act, including attending this Wednesday’s scheduled event in New Hampshire with Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services.

“The people of New Hampshire will have a great opportunity to make their views heard,” said Shaheen.

Details of that event have not yet been released.