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Hassan Criticizes GOP Health Bill, and Trump Administration's 'Sabotage' of Obamacare

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Senator Maggie Hassan met with health care leaders in Exeter Monday to talk about the need for a bipartisan plan forward in Washington--and to criticize President Trump for his handling of the health care issue.

Standing in the glass atrium of Exeter Hospital, the first-term Democrat did not mince words about what she sees as the flaws in the Republican approach to health policy. 

Hassan criticized the lack of public hearings on the GOP legislation, and argued that the proposed cuts to Medicaid would ultimately lead to higher costs and worse care for low-income residents.

“We know we have to lower health care costs for middle class Americans. We have to stabilize the insurance market, and protect the markets from the sabotage being attempted by the Trump Administration,” said Hassan, a Newfields resident whose family has used Exeter Hospital for both routine and emergency medicine.

Hassan praised the Affordable Care Act for increasing the number of insured residents, as well as New Hampshire’s bipartisan plan to expand Medicaid through private insurance.

“This is a democracy. Our creed is that every single person counts. That means every single person has access to affordable care, when they need it,” she said.

Hassan was joined by Exeter Hospital CEO Kevin Callahan, who expressed concern about any dramatic upheaval in health policy.

“There is a panoply of issues with the Affordable Care Act, and they do require addressing,” he said. But with the policies of the ACA already deeply entrenched, he continued, “the complete repeal of that, let alone designing a replacement, which has yet to emerge that is sustainable, seems, I think, a fool’s errand.”

Senate leadership has called for a preliminary vote on a GOP plan this week, but likely won’t have the votes to pass it.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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