CONCORD — A long-time opponent of the Affordable Care Act, Americans for Prosperity, will host the Wrong for New Hampshire Picnic and Rally today on the State House lawn beginning at noon.
“We all know the implementation of Obamacare has been a disaster and if fully implemented Obamacare will lead to cuts in services, higher premiums and doctor shortages,” said Greg Moore, state director of AFP-NH.
But supporters of the ACA say the group is trying to use health care for leverage in the next election.
“While actual consumer health advocates are looking for ways to get more people covered, groups like Americans for Prosperity are trying to come between people and their doctors and make health access as burdensome as possible so that they can use health reform as a political wedge issue in the next election,” said Zandra Rice-Hawkins, director of Granite State Progress.
A legislative commission is studying the potential effects of expanding Medicaid eligibility to include individuals and families at 138 percent of the federal poverty level or below. The federal government will pay 100 percent for the new enrollees for three years under the ACA.
One of the AFP-NH’s top priorities this year was to block Medicaid expansion. Gov. Maggie Hassan and the Democratically-controlled House included expansion in their budgets, but the Republican-controlled Senate blocked expansion saying more time is needed to study it.
House and Senate negotiators agreed to establish the commission, which has to make its recommendations by Oct. 15.
Key elements of the ACA begin Jan. 1, including the individual mandate and online health insurance exchanges allowing individuals and small businesses to compare health insurance plans.