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On Obamacare: Where will NH's next governor stand?

June 20. 2012 11:16PM

In his State of the State address in January, Gov. John Lynch urged legislators to create a New Hampshire health insurance exchange, which all states must have as a result of Obamacare. On Tuesday, he signed a Republican bill prohibiting New Hampshire from creating its own exchange. So now that everything is clear....

New Hampshire Republicans tried to portray Lynch's signing of HB 1297 as an indication that the governor has turned against Obamacare. If only that were so.

Alas, Lynch remains silent on the issue. Though the Affordable Care Act became law on March 23, 2010, Lynch has yet to state an opinion on it. He has not even said whether he supports the law's dramatic expansion of Medicaid eligibility, which will cost New Hampshire millions and make thousands of Granite Staters dependent upon the state.

Even as he ran for reelection in 2010, just after Obamacare was enacted, Lynch managed to avoid taking a position on it and on many of its controversial provisions. Voters must not let that happen in 2012.

A Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare might draw all gubernatorial candidates out on the issue. Or it might not. We already know that Republican gubernatorial candidates Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith oppose Obamacare and want it repealed. What of the Democratic Candidates Maggie Hassan, Jackie Cilley and Bill Kennedy? Do they support the entire law, with its added burden on the people, the state and businesses? If not, which parts do they support, and which do they oppose? The voters deserve to know. Having a governor who actively opposes individual mandates, Mediaid expansions and numerous other federal health care directives will be very different than having one who, like Lynch, refuses to challenge it, or who embraces it.

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