CONCORD, NH -- Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire held a picnic at the Statehouse on Aug. 1, targeting the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare and potential Republican 2014 candidates got the chance to test out their messaging when it comes to attacking the federal health care program.
In fact, if you didn’t know it was Aug. 1, 2013, you might have thought it was a year later.
George Lambert, a possible gubernatorial contender, and William O’Brien, a 2nd Congressional District prospect, along with State Rep. Pam Tucker, R-Greenland, and State Rep. Jane Cormier, R-Alton, all gave fiery speeches attacking the program. Lambert joked unlike some advocates of ObamaCare – ones that were working on political campaigns in New Hampshire, voted here, and then bolted – most people who paid property taxes were worried about the future costs the program would incur. O’Brien laid out a litany of broken promises that advocates said would happen if the law were approved, including people keeping their own doctors and taxes not being raised. He noted that there were 20 new taxes with the law, raising hundreds of billions of dollars and costing the country at least $1.3 trillion in future debt.
“It’s a law as destructive to personal freedom and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850,” O’Brien said, “that allowed slave owners to come to New Hampshire and seize African-Americans and use the federal courts to take them back to slave states.”
Greg Moore, of AFP-NH, said that everyone in New Hampshire understood that healthcare, before ObamaCare, “was not perfect,” and his organization was involved in offering reforms. But now with implementation, the law, including tax increases that come with it, higher health care costs, and higher costs passed onto employers, would hurt small businesses, he said. Moore called the law “nothing more than a series of broken promises.”
Tucker slammed the plan, including exemptions like the one Maine was getting. She said the federal funding of the plan was “too good to be true.” Tucker said relying on Medicaid would provide “more people, in a family system, with worse services” than they were currently receiving.
“We’re told we can get out of the exchange at any time,” she said. “Have you heard of a government program that’s been discontinued? And once the money is gone, New Hampshire is once again on the hook for paying that program … out of the taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ pockets.”
A handful of universal health care advocates were watching the picnic but the usual signs and counter-protesting was missing from their presence at the event. Later in the day, Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins, sent out a statement saying that AFP was part of “a national conservative campaign to actively discourage people from accessing quality, affordable health care, and they will particularly be targeting young adult men to encourage them to skip health coverage.” She called the activity by AFP “shameful political shenanigans” that will hurt New Hampshire families.
“For years Granite Staters donned ‘I’m a Health Care Voter’ stickers and called on candidates to fix our country’s broken health care system,” Hawkins noted. “President Obama delivered on that promise. Meanwhile Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity and politicians like Bill O’Brien have failed to offer any meaningful ideas and instead continue their partisan path of obstruction.”