March 17, 2010
Concord, NH - Senate Republicans today outlined their plan to introduce an amendment to protect New Hampshire citizens from being forced to purchase health insurance as a result of health care legislation being considered in Washington. The amendment would be modeled on Virginia’s recently enacted law that protects its citizens from federal coercion to buy health insurance.
Amendment co-sponsor, Sen. Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) said the amendment is of critical importance. “Forcing any person to buy health insurance will likely be determined as blatantly unconstitutional in future court proceedings. But without question, such governmental brute force is un-American! New Hampshire must protect its citizens and our ‘Live Free or Die’ way of life from the jaws of Washington mandates, bureaucracy and intrusions into our most fundamental rights.”
Senate Minority Leader Peter Bragdon (R-Milford) said the amendment would be introduced on SB-505. The amendment would strip all provisions of that controversial bill which seeks to establish a $3.5 million government bureaucracy to set price controls on hospitals. “Our amendment would eliminate the government control of health care being proposed right here in New Hampshire, and instead protect people in our state from government-run health care coming from Washington," said Bragdon.
In Washington, the Senate version of the bill calls for a penalty of up to $2,250 for not purchasing health insurance, with penalties for non-compliance. The House version even allows a five year jail sentence for non-compliance.
Bragdon and Bradley and the other Republican co-sponsors said this individual federal mandate to purchase health insurance was an affront to personal liberties and responsibilities and called upon all twenty four senators to endorse the amendment.
Virginia has passed it, thirty other states are considering it and NH must do so immediately and unequivocally they stated.
Bradley has introduced several other pieces of legislation designed to protect taxpayers and improve access to affordable healthcare. His legislation to allow New Hampshire residents to purchase health insurance across state lines has passed the Senate. His legislation to protect New Hampshire taxpayers from unfunded mandates for Medicaid costs that could exceed $1.2 billion over 10 years was defeated on a partisan vote. Bradley’s legislation to reduce frivolous lawsuits which drive up the cost of health care is pending.