Thursday, March 26, 2009

N.H. House backs single-payer health plan

N.H. Business Review 

N.H. House backs single-payer health plan

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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The New Hampshire House went on record in favor of a single-payer national health-care system Tuesday, in a last minute, 192-150 roll call vote.

Rep. Jill Shaffer Hammond, D-Peterborough, spoke for the resolution, HCR2, which supports the federal National Health Insurance Act and calls for similar coverage offered in other industrialized nations. The federal act, currently languishing in Congress, goes far beyond what President Obama, and most Democratic candidates running to the left of him, proposed in the last campaign. The act would increase the Medicaid payroll tax to 4.5 percent from 1.2 percent, allowing the federal government to insure everyone not currently insured, said Shaffer Hammond – an amount, she contended, that is far lower than the amount most people currently pay for health insurance.

Already, she said, the government pays for veterans, elderly and the poor, and all high-risk groups with expensive coverage.

Add on government workers, and “we are more than 60 percent there already,” she said.

“No more would the small-business owner faced with a 23 percent increase in insurance premiums have to negotiate a 16 percent increase and then talk to their employees about doubling their deductible,” she said. “No more would a family have to face medical bankruptcy. Let’s liberate our small business to compete locally, nationally and globally.”


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