Governor Sununu, Help Defeat AHCA Changes!

Dear Governor Sununu: 

We are writing on behalf of the board and membership of the New Hampshire Public Health Association, a trusted voice that has worked to promote and protect the health of the people of New Hampshire for the last 25 years. 

We are asking that you join with your fellow governors, both Democratic and Republican, who are calling for a bipartisan Senate approach on healthcare reform to preserve critical health benefits for millions of Americans. All of the governors who have signed a letter urging this collaboration are from states like, New Hampshire, that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The Republican bill in both chambers will phase out federal funding for that expansion.
 
As you well know, nearly 190,000 individuals have enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program as of March 2107 and thus have had access to essential preventive and acute care health services. 

We are most concerned about the following in the Senate version of the American Health Care Act:
 
  • With the phasing out of Medicaid Expansion, the loss of health care coverage for NH adults and children and their inability to access essential health benefits such as maternity care, mental health and substance abuse disorder services and prescription drug coverage.
  • The loss of these services would hamper New Hampshire's ability to assist individuals to receive behavioral health services and address some of the root causes leading to the state's growing opioid epidemic.
  • The blocking of Medicaid reimbursement to Planned Parenthood, which provides quality reproductive health services for both men and women. This will result in less access to care and potentially more unintended births and increased spending for the Medicaid program. 
  • The maintenance of the Prevention and Public Health Fund for state and local prevention activities that has brought over $23.3 million to New Hampshire since 2010 for programs to: reduce tobacco use; address childhood lead poisoning; prevent falls among the elderly; reduce health disparities; prevent diabetes, heart disease and obesity; respond to disease outbreaks and improve access to vaccines. These are critical prevention funds for New Hampshire that allow the state flexibility to address its most pressing public health needs. The loss of these prevention funds would be devastating and potentially lead to higher health care costs.

New Hampshire is projected to see Medicaid costs that are $111,316,000 over their projected federal funding cap as proposed in the House passed AHCA. We urge you to consider joining your colleagues to assure a bi-partisan approach to assure that all Americans continue to receive critical health benefits and can lead healthy, productive lives.

Sincerely,Katie Robert, President NH Public Health Association
Joan Ascheim, Executive Director NH Public Health Association
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