Stumping at a Rotary Club meeting Friday morning, Lamontagne discussed health care and how New Hampshire can “partner with Washington” to improve the state’s system. “Take those dollars under Obamacare but apply them to a free-market private health insurance exchange” in New Hampshire, he told the audience, failing to mention his past opposition to the landmark health law.
LAMONTAGNE: The delivery system really is local and we ought to continue to work on a New Hampshire solution for health care reform, not turning over our health care system to Washington again. I think we have an opportunity to partner with Washington to come up with a New Hampshire solution. Take those dollars under Obamacare but apply them to a free-market private health insurance exchange with more insurance companies competing and with high-risk pooling or high-risk premium support for those individuals who can’t access the private insurance market because coverages are pricing them out of coverage. That’s where resources should be allocated to.
What Lamontagne proposed to do with Obamacare funds is precisely what they’re intended for: to help states set up “a free-market private health insurance exchange with more insurance companies competing.” It is the same law that he vehemently opposed as a Senate candidate in 2010 because it was a “takeover of our country’s health care system.”
Thus far, Republican legislators in the state have been working to impede creating an exchange. Earlier this year, New Hampshire passed a law barring state officials from setting up an exchange without legislative approval. If New Hampshire doesn’t submit a plan for their own exchange prior to January 1, 2013, federal officials will set up one for the state.
Still, even though Lamontagne is now promising to take advantage of Obamacare funds for the Granite State’s benefit, he also promised earlier this year that he would fight the new law as governor. “The very first thing I would do is direct the attorney general to repeal Obamacare or to fight it and stop it every step of the way,” he said. “We need to make sure we don’t have Obamacare.”