There’s an effort underway to make insurance more affordable in New Hampshire by allowing a range of plans – some with a maximum number of mandates and others with fewer mandated services. Supporters say this gives consumers greater choice -- they ask why a young unmarried male, for instance, pay for a plan that includes prenatal care. And, they say, it could help bring down cost, which has left too many people unable to afford any insurance at all.
Thursday New Hampshire’s senators voted along party lines as the Senate rejected an amendment to unwind a controversial new contraceptive rule from the Obama Administration.
Instead of requiring religious institutions to provide birth control in their health care plans, the White House pivoted and is now forcing insurance companies to provide contraception free of charge. Missouri Senator Roy Blunt’s amendment would have allowed employers to decide their own coverage based upon their religious beliefs. Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte supported the amendment.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, every state must have a health insurance exchange in place by January 2014. An exchange is a clearinghouse of sorts where people and small business can go to buy insurance and also find out which tax rebates they may use to help them buy coverage.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has joined the chorus criticizing President Obama over a controversial policy that would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.
Catholic opinion leaders have denounced the policy as an assault on their religious freedom.