Rabbit season... b u d g e t season!
My posts have been missing here - they shifted to the pages of the local papers for a few weeks as one of our State Reps showed his true colors as he tried to refute, deflect and generally obfuscate the issues I raised about the House budget. You can see most of the letters on the blog page of my site www.itsalllocal.weebly.com. The funny (or not so funny) thing is that with the move of the budget to the Senate, the conversation is back at my previous post here about nonsensical cuts (see below). The House opted not to cut business taxes, but the Senate is sticking to the plan to cut revenues in the face of cuts to HHS, public education and a repeal of expanded Medicaid which is providing insurance to nearly 40,000 NH residents. The NH Hospital Association further underscored the progress made (in increased health care coverage), reporting that the NHHPP (NH Health Protection Program - expanded Medicaid) is “driving a reduction in inpatient admissions, emergency visits and outpatient hospital services among the uninsured.”
The purpose of the sunset (expiration at the end of 2016) of the expanded Medicaid bill passed in 2014 was to 'be sure' the program worked before continuing. So, fewer uninsured residents, less uncompensated care to inflate the costs to insurance rate payers - and we are cancelling it? Exactly what were they looking for in terms of success? Mental Health care, especially via community health centers, has struggled to manage - in fact, NH was sued because of the abysmal status (due to inadequate funding). Mental Health coverage is included in Expanded Medicaid and the decrease in uncompensated mental health care has provided needed stability to this vital resource. The NH Business Review published a letter from 10 Community Mental Health Centers testifying to the positive effects of Expanded Medicaid (here).
Congress expanded Medicaid for full-time low-wage workers to help both businesses and their low-wage employees.
Employers in low-wage industries find it difficult to pay the cost of insurance, and the insurance those employers can afford often comes with a very high deductible, which does not cover the employee’s family. Medicaid has no deductible and covers the entire family; it is a far better alternative.
(see this entire letter in NH Business Review HERE)
So, to summarize, the Senate proposes to cut business taxes for fewer than 10% of NH businesses. 75% of businesses do not pay the Profits Tax, 42% do not pay the Enterprise Tax. Of the business that do pay these taxes, the proposed reduction will not amount to more than a few hundred dollars for more the vast majority of them. Yet, cumulatively, the General Fund will lose $14 million in FY2017 and $93 million per biennium when fully phased in.
The same budget hawks who say we need to live within our means turn around and cut millions from our future 'means'. That is not responsible budgeting when education and infrastructure is cut, it is not moral budgeting when cuts go deep into Health and Human Services, and it does not reflect my 'core principles'.
A collection of perspectives, quotes, writings, tweets and clips that got me thinking - so I'm passing them along to you ~ Kristi - Windems Chair