CONCORD — The Democratic leaders in the state House and Senate want New Hampshire to join other states in appealing a Texas judge’s ruling declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, but Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has declined.
The letter to Sununu and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald was delivered on Thursday.
In their letter, the top Democratic lawmakers state that “The Affordable Care Act has significantly improved the access, cost and quality of health care for thousands of Granite Staters … As elected officials, we all must put the people of our state before politics. New Hampshire is counting on us to get off the sidelines and fight for their access to quality, affordable health care.”
The letter is signed by Senate President Donna Soucy and Majority Leader Dan Feltes, along with House Speaker Steve Shurtleff and House Majority Leader Doug Ley.
Sununu's spokesman Benjamin Vihstadt called the letter “nothing more than a political stunt.”
“This decision from one (federal) district court judge has no immediate impact on New Hampshire and is not going anywhere,” Vihstadt said.
He accused Democrats of posing a greater threat to New Hampshire health care by opposing changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion program contained in federal approval of a new work requirement.
“It’s time to end the games and to get to work with serious solutions to improve our health care system,” he said.
A federal judge in Texas on Dec. 14 ruled the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, was unconstitutional based on its mandate requiring that people buy health insurance.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have appealed the ruling in a case that is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.