Floor Speech Amendment to HB 1696

Motion to remove part of Medicaid Expansion bill

Fellow House members, the effect of floor amendment # 431h before you would be to delete the “severability clause” which is contained on line 19, page 2 of the amendment to HB 1696.

Supporters of this Bill have publically touted the Medicaid Expansion bill’s long list of work and TANF related requirements contained on the first page of the Bill. They are listed as items (a) thru (l). I believe we can all agree that able bodied adults should be working or at least be making attempts to do so as a qualifier for receiving any taxpayer funded healthcare.

I also think that we, the citizens of New Hampshire are best able to decide what works best for New Hampshire, and any interference from distant bureaucrats in Washington goes against the intent of this Medicaid Expansion bill.

Having said that, the severability clause would permit Washington DC to do EXACTLY that, interfere by giving them de facto veto power and allowing them to say: “There will be no work or other related requirements, or you get no funding.” The severability clause in this bill would allow all the listed work and other requirements that precede it, to be removed from this bill.

If this Medicaid Expansion bill has been given proper, thorough review and analysis, and if the supporters of this bill are sincere in their desire to have the work requirements included as part of this overall bill, no one should have any problem removing the severability clause. On the other hand, if we hear shortly from the proponents, statements such as: “the committee has fully vetted this bill, everyone agrees the severability clause is needed, its only there because of x or y or z”, we will then know the clause is included for nothing more than optics. I’ll say it again, if a full vetting and a complete analysis of this Bill has actually occurred, there is no need for the severability clause.

I ask you to join me in supporting this floor amendment that removes both the severability clause, and more importantly, the ability of bureaucrats in DC to insert their requirements and mandates into what is New Hampshire’s business.

Posted in Speeches.