Nashua Telegraph: Republicans take aim at Obamacare as statehouse rally, saying ‘peoples’ lives are at risk’
CONCORD – During a State House rally Thursday, former House Speaker and potential Republican candidate for Congress William O’Brien, of Mont Vernon, likened the Affordable Care Act to federal laws that legalized slavery and instituted the federal income tax.
“What is Obamacare? It is a law as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 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,” O’Brien told the crowd of 100 residents at the Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire forum.
O’Brien said the Affordable Care Act will invade personal privacy into the health care of Americans such as filing income tax requires Americans to declare their finances.
“Obamacare’s individual mandate tells us to turn over our health care to the federal government just as the income tax tells us to turn over our financial lives to the federal government or go to jail,” O’Brien said.
AFP-NH, a fiscally-conservative interest group, has led the grass roots efforts in support of repealing Obamacare and rejecting the call of Gov. Maggie Hassan and the Democratically controlled House of Representatives to expand coverage for residents under Medicaid, the federal-state insurance program for the poor, disabled and senior citizens living in nursing homes.
“We need to slow down the implementation of the law, make sure it’s done right,” AFP Director Greg Moore said. “Peoples’ lives are at risk.”
Democratic Party Communications Director Harrell Kirstein took direct aim at the comments from O’Brien, who is actively exploring a congressional bid in the 2nd Congressional District to try to unseat first-term U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H.
“This chilling and offensive rhetoric is exactly what voters rejected last fall. While nationally the Republican Party has been attempting to erase their more out-of-touch positions, the tea party Republicans supported by Kelly Ayotte’s NHGOP continues to be the voice and face of the radical right-wing fringe,” Kirstein said. “How long will it take for Kelly Ayotte, Jeb Bradley, Peter Bragdon and Gene Chandler to condemn their shamefully embarrassing fellow Republican and his shockingly inappropriate actions?”
State Rep. George Lambert, R-Litchfield, said local property taxpayers already have faced tax hikes from the rising cost of health care premiums for local government employees.
“You are going to feel an increase in everything you do. It is going to ripple through all of society,” Lambert warned.
Meanwhile state Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny confirmed to Obama administration officials that Anthem would be the only insurer offering coverage under the federal exchange that will offer coverage to individuals and employees with small firms that lack it.
A 2011 state law prevented New Hampshire from setting up its own exchange, but Hassan secured Obama administration approval to set up a “partnership” that puts the federal government in charge but permits state regulators some oversight.