July 09, 2019

Senators Hassan and Shaheen Participate in Events in D.C. and New Hampshire To Highlight What’s At Stake Ahead of Oral Arguments To Overturn Health Care Law

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Senators Hassan and Shaheen at the D.C. press conference on the top, and the New Hampshire press conference on the bottom with the rest of the NH delegation. 

WASHINGTON – To highlight what’s at stake ahead of today’s oral arguments in the Texas v. United States lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen joined Senate and House Democrats on the steps of the Capitol, where they held up photos of constituents who would be hurt if the Trump Administration succeeds in repealing the health care law through the courts. Senator Hassan held up a photo of Rosie from Amherst, NH who was born with cystic fibrosis. Senator Shaheen highlighted Ellie of Kingston, NH who was born with a rare and serious heart defect. Both Rosie and Ellie would face huge financial consequences if protections for people with pre-existing conditions were repealed.

Yesterday, Senators Hassan and Shaheen held a press conference with Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) on the critical need to safeguard health care coverage at Amoskeag Health in Manchester. In April, Shaheen led all Senate Democrats and Independents on a resolution calling on the Department of Justice to reverse its position and argue to keep the current health care law intact.

“If the Trump Administration gets its way in this partisan lawsuit, health care costs will rise, millions more people will be uninsured, and patients with pre-existing conditions – like Rosie of Amherst – will lose vital protections,” Senator Hassan said. “Rosie was born with cystic fibrosis, and could lose her coverage or face huge new costs if protections for pre-existing conditions are repealed. We cannot allow this to happen, and I will continue fighting to ensure that health care coverage for those with pre-existing conditions are protected.”  

“Time and again, Granite Staters and the American public have spoken out loud and clear against Republican efforts to repeal their health care, and each time those efforts were defeated in Congress. Families are sick and tired of having their health care threatened – enough is enough,” Senator Shaheen said. “This latest partisan effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act through the courts is an attempt to do an end run around the will of the American people, and risks the health care of more than one hundred thousand Granite Staters, including Ellie from Kingston, whose coverage and costs would be uncertain if protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions are erased. I’ll keep fighting these partisan attacks and working to improve our health care for everyone.”

See below for highlights of the coverage from yesterday’s press conference:

WMUR: Democratic lawmakers warn of serious consequences if ACA overturned

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To watch the video, click here.

On the eve of arguments in front of a federal appeals court, New Hampshire's Democratic congressional delegation warned that a lawsuit aimed at overturning the Affordable Care Act could have devastating effects for thousands of Granite Staters.

President Donald Trump has said the health care law isn't working and believes the lawsuit will be successful in court.

"President Trump and Republican leadership have still not provided any replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act, so there is no Plan B," said U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Lawmakers warned that if the ACA is eliminated, thousands of Granite Staters would lose their ability to get access to affordable health care.

"If the Trump administration gets its way in this partisan lawsuit, it would raise health care costs, rip away critical protections for patients with preexisting conditions and leave millions of Americans uninsured," said U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan. 

"There are 130 million Americans with preexisting conditions, including half the adult population here in New Hampshire, that would be discriminated against by insurance companies if this lawsuit succeeds," said U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas.

Overturning the ACA would also unravel Medicaid expansion, which the delegation said is essential to addiction recovery.

"We know right here in New Hampshire that our only chance against this epidemic is expanding access to affordable treatment," said. U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster.

Darrell Lennon said he was over-prescribed pain medication after an injury but is now in recovery. He said access to health care allowed him to fight back from addiction.

"It gave me a voice, and I hope that someone hears this story, it touches someone's heart and not take the humanness out of people," he said.

Union Leader: As federal lawsuit looms, NH congressional delegation pushes for support of Obamacare

By Doug Alden

Members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation lobbied for public support of the Affordable Care Act on Monday, the day before opening arguments in a federal lawsuit that could dissolve the national health care plan.

The delegation, all Democrats, warned of dire consequences should the latest legal challenge to the ACA succeed in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“While the ACA may not be perfect, it’s a solid foundation that we should be building on and not tearing apart,” U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas said.

Pappas joined U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster and U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan on Monday at the Amoskeag Health offices on Hollis Street.

They said the community health center was an appropriate venue to discuss the ACA and the people who benefit most from it, noting coverage for pre-existing conditions and the ACA’s role in fighting the opioid epidemic by expanding treatment options.

The congressional panel also introduced three patient advocates, who discussed how they have benefited from the ACA and the substantial burden they would face without it.

“There is no ‘Plan B,’” Shaheen said. “The recklessness of this action is really astounding if we think about what is at stake.”

All four members of the delegation voiced their support of the ACA and various reasons why they said it is vital to all Americans, regardless of party affiliation. The current challenge, however, is about whether the law is constitutional.

[…] Shaheen said the cost of health care and expense of prescription medicine are a concern to everyone and should not be a partisan issue.

“Granite Staters want bipartisan cooperation to drive down costs, to expand coverage and to ensure that everyone in New Hampshire and across this country has access to the health care that they need at a cost they can afford,” she said.

NHPR: N.H. Congressional Delegation Warns Against Repeal of Affordable Care Act

By Sarah Gibson

New Hampshire’s congressional delegation is speaking out against a federal lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The case, Texas v. U.S., will be heard in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday. It is brought by 18 states that say the individual mandate requiring people to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional.

A ruling in their favor could overturn the Affordable Care Act entirely, a goal of many Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration.

At Amoskeag Health Center in Manchester on Monday, Senator Maggie Hassan said that would be a disaster.

“It would raise healthcare costs, rip away critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and leave millions of Americans uninsured,” she said.

A repeal would also do away with Medicaid expansion, which provides coverage to 50,000 residents of New Hampshire, including many with substance use disorder.

“Finally we're getting the care that we need; finally we're turning lives around. All of that would be lost,” warned Congresswoman Annie Kuster.

New Hampshire is one of eight states not involved in the case; most have joined it either in support of or against the Affordable Care Act.

Nashua Telegraph: New Hampshire leaders support ACA

By Adam Urquhart

[…] Monday, all members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation gathered at Amoskeag Health in Manchester to emphasis their support for Obamacare.

“I think it’s worth repeating, that after nine years of efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act by our Republican colleagues in the Congress, and while promising a replacement plan, President Trump and Republican leadership have still not provided any replacement plan for the ACA. So, there is no Plan B,” U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said.

Shaheen appeared with U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, along with U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas, all D-N.H. They said overturning the ACA would be a threat to tens of thousands of Granite Staters, not to mention millions of Americans.

They said the loss of Obamacare would mean:

• Protections for people with pre-existing conditions would disappear;

• Insurance companies could once again set annual and lifetime caps on the value of services they allow;

• Prescription drug costs would go up for seniors; and

• New Hampshire would lose Medicaid expansion.

Hassan said Medicaid expansion provides quality, affordable health coverage to more than 50,000 people in New Hampshire. This includes those participating in treatment for their addictions. Although she admits there is a long way to go with this opioid epidemic, she said Medicaid expansion has been a critical tool for the state’s health care community in getting people into treatment and providing them with care.

“As Senator Shaheen has laid out, the Trump administration has been absolutely relentless with its barrage of attacks on Americans health care,” Hassan said. “Make no mistake – if the Trump administration gets its way in this partisan lawsuit, it would raise health care costs, rip away critical protections for patients with pre-existing conditions and leave millions of Americans uninsured.”

Three patients relying on the ACA joined the delegation at Amoskeag Health, formerly Manchester Community Health Center, at 145 Hollis St. Monday morning to share their stories, and highlight how important this legislation is in their lives. Amoskeag President and CEO Kris McCracken said as a federally qualified health center, they have seen firsthand the impact the ACA has on the state. […]

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