New Hampshire’s Democratic Governor Allows Two Anti-Health Reform Bills To Become Law

Via the AP: Democratic New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch “has allowed two Republican bills that set limits on implementing the federal health care law to become law without his signature”:

One bill says no New Hampshire resident can be required to obtain or be fined for failing to be covered by health insurance. An exception is made for people required by a court or the state who are named in a judicial or administrative proceeding.

The second bill establishes an oversight committee whose approval the insurance commissioner must obtain before implementing the federal law. The bill directs the commissioner to return a $666,000 federal grant to plan a health exchange to promote competition among insurers and request that the money be used to reduce the federal deficit.

The first bill is almost meaningless, since federal requirements — to purchase health insurance coverage beginning in 2014, in this case — trump state laws. Returning federal grant dollars earmarked for establish health care exchanges, however, would likely impede the state’s ability to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act and turn over the new marketplaces to the federal government.

Currently, 10 percent of New Hampshire residents are uninsured.