GOP gubernatorial candidate Smith: Reduce rules on energy, health care
Smith released the second part of his economic plan, which he calls ';New Hampshire';s Future is Now.';
He released the first part, focusing on business tax reforms, last month.
On health care, Smith says that, as governor, he would oppose any ';Obamacare mandates'; on the state and have the state join the current federal lawsuit ';that will allow our state to opt out of the program.';
He said he would work to allow Granite Staters to purchase health insurance across state lines and allow New Hampshire health insurance companies to offer ';alternative plans to customers and pare back the coverage mandates that the state imposes.';
';We should not force a small company to pay $11,000 a year per employee for a certain coverage if none of the employees have a need for it and are willing to opt out,'; Smith said.
Smith said he also would try to form compacts with surrounding states to purchase health-care coverage , which, he said, would reduce costs.
Democratic candidate Maggie Hassan said Smith';s plan is similar to a bill passed by the House that would allow the state to be part of ';an interstate health-care compact'; which then would receive block grants from the federal government for Medicare.
Hassan said allowing the state to take over Medicare would result in ';drastic cuts'; to the health care system.
';Ovide Lamontagne, Kevin Smith and the Bill O';Brien legislature have supported drastic cuts to our hospitals and to other institutions that Granite Staters count on,'; said Hassan. ';So when they talk about taking over Medicare, you can bet that they don';t intend to make subtle reforms. They intend to make drastic cuts that will make it impossible for our seniors to receive the benefits that the current Medicare program provides.';
Smith said he also would eliminate the Certificate of Need process ';so that core competition of service and care can exist within New Hampshire';s health care economy.';
On reducing electricity costs, Smith said he would ';promote policies that give our utilities the flexibility to obtain and provide the cheapest electricity possible instead of picking winners and losers.';
He also would ';eliminate onerous, environmentally neutral, rate-hiking energy regulations such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (cap-and-trade) policy,'; and ';develop a long-term comprehensive energy policy aimed at reducing energy costs for consumers and businesses by reevaluating current energy regulations, appropriately managing the state';s energy generation assets and public utilities, working to provide greater market certainty for energy end-users, and exploring alternative forms of energy for the future,'; he said.