CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

July 18, 2013

My Opinion: July 18, 2013

by NH State Representative L. Mike Kappler
Carriage Towne News

---- — CTN body text:RAYMOND —The “Medicaid Expansion Study Commission” that was created in the HB-2 budget bill has been formed and had its first meeting on July 8. Appointees to the commission are: Appointed by the Governor: Jim Varmum; Appointed by the House Speaker: Reps. Cindy Rosenwald (595-9896), Tom Sherman (379-2248), and Neal Kurk (529-7253). Also Dr. Travis Harker. Appointed by the Senate President: Sens. Nancy Stiles (918-0553), Andy Sanborn (271-2609), and Peggy Gilmour (465-2336). Also Charlie Arlinghaus. Non-voting members: DHHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas, and Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny.

Talk about stacking the deck, of the nine voting members of this Council, five, all Democrats, have a financial ties impacted by the answer to the question before the Council: Jim Varnum, Physician, former President of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital; Travis Harker, Physician, President of the New Hampshire Medical Society; Tom Sherman, Physician at Exeter Hospital; Cindy Rosenwald, wife of physician; and Peggy Gilmour, Nurse, former President and CEO of government-financed home health entity.

If this commission takes its charge seriously, and I pray they will, it will be a very busy summer and fall for its members. The final report has to be out by October 15, 2013. Their charge is to determine if New Hampshire residents would benefit from this expansion program, or would the added costs outweigh its worth. If you, like me, agree that this expansion is a bad idea, will only lead to higher taxes, higher insurance premiums, and worse health care than we have now, please contact the senators and representatives listed above.

At the federal level, they need to get serious and start correcting some of the major problems, not just expanding it. Already high and still rising costs has put Medicare underwater and this expansion will just increase the costs. What can be changed in the program to lower the costs? Currently, Congress forbids the government from negotiating pharmaceutical prices, why? As the prescribing of “defensive” medications are rising, by doctors afraid of malpractice litigation, often to no benefit for the patient, the program costs goes up more. Let’s not cover this type of medication. Another problem that wastes a lot of money is the fraud, abuse of the program, and other payment problems.

If the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the employer health insurance mandate is such a good thing, why has the President just delayed the implementation of it until January 1, 2015, yes just after the 2014 elections? Afraid those in Washington that voted for it wouldn’t get re-elected if it started on January 1, 2014 and businesses were already getting burnt by it?

CTN body text:(Editor’s Note: NH State Representative Mike Kappler can be reached at l.mikekappler@comcast.net)