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Rep. Manuse Senate Testimony on HB 1297, relative to federal health care reform and health care exchanges

I have come before you today to introduce and support HB 1297, which would prohibit New Hampshire from implementing a state health benefit exchange under the so-called Obamacare Act, the federal “health care” overhaul enacted by Congress against popular demand in 2010. A health benefit exchange is the mechanism the federal Health and Human Services Department would use to enforce the provisions of Obamacare, such as the individual mandate we already said could not be enforced in New Hampshire when we passed SB 148 last year, and the taxes, and penalties the act requires businesses to pay. The federal health overhaul entices states with the choice to create a state operated exchange or rely on a federal operated exchange. In effect, they are no different; the federal bureaucracy would control either version. Yet, a state exchange would cost the state an additional $10 million to $30 million a year to run starting in 2015—money we just don’t have—just to pay for state officials to follow the federal government’s orders. Even if we do end up with Obamacare, HB 1297 would save New Hampshire money. The language of HB 1297 as amended by 2012-1786s is simple and comprehensive. It would be inserted in RSA 420-N, updating the responsibility of the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee to guide the state’s executive branch in protecting New Hampshire from the federal law. With amendment 2012-1786s, HB 1297 would give state officials guidance on how they should interact with federal agents in the event that the court does not overturn the federal act in its upcoming decision or if the federal act is not repealed by Congress. Specifically, the amended HB 1297 would direct state officials to maintain a free market for health insurance to the best of their ability under the federal law. On top of this, the language of HB 1297 takes advantage of a flaw in the federal law that relies on states creating their own exchanges. The law did not provide for the contingency that states would refuse to set up exchanges, and because of this, by New Hampshire not creating a state exchange along with other states, it will be more likely that the federal health insurance overhaul would be repealed or amended. If the court overturns the law or if the law is repealed, most of the changes we’re introducing today would be deleted, but the prohibition on creating a state-run exchange and a new general state... read more

Passive resistance at the airport: My trip to the ALEC Conference in Charlotte, N.C., Part I

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—My wife told me that I’d be subject to more scrutiny at the airport today on my way to the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) 2012 Spring Task Force Summit in Charlotte, N.C. Because I had bought my airline tickets less than a week before the event and because I chose to fly down and return on the same day to save on hotel costs and minimize the time away from my family, she said that I could expect the maximum level of scrutiny at the airport. She was right about her prediction, though I can’t say for sure if her rationale was correct. As you may know, I am the co-sponsor of HB 628, an act relative to searches conducted for purposes of transportation-related security, which is a bill that would create a public database for complaints against the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) enhanced airline screening activities and require state law enforcement officials to take such complaints. I’ve always believed that when we shine a light on something, it encourages good behavior. That is the very purpose of the TSA Accountability Act, as I’ve called it. The bill passed the House, but it was killed in the Senate by Derry Sen. Jim Rausch’s Senate Transportation Committee. Currently, I have attached the same language to Sen. Rausch’s senate bill, SB 332, which addresses a prohibition relative to auxiliary state troopers. To my knowledge, the TSA Accountability Act is still moving forward as part of SB 332, and I am hopeful the Senate will see the importance of this bill the second time. Perhaps this was the reason for my enhanced screening this morning? Regardless of whether we pass the law to create the public TSA Accountability database; however, I still have the power of the pen, which they say is mightier than the sword. It is for this reason that I am now writing about my experience this morning with the TSA, which I would explain only as a gross violation of my constitutional rights with a smile. The experience was beyond inappropriate, however I must say to the TSA’s credit that its agents, whom are not law enforcement officials, were very professional and courteous. Additionally, I have the power of passive resistance, which you will see, I fully exercised today without any trouble. I hope that more people will follow my example and do just what I have done as explained here, as I have followed the... read more

The ‘Conference’ that wasn’t: A full analysis of why CACR 12 is bad for NH

If you’re willing to accept that Claremont was correct and that the people have a fundamental right to a state-run and state-funded public education, nothing we say is going to convince you otherwise. But if, like us, you think Claremont was wrong, and you are not willing to give up the fight for educational freedom and the natural right of parents to educate their own children, then read on because we are going to convince you why CACR 12 is not the right amendment for New... read more

Manuse thankful for opportunity to serve the people of Derry

It has been one of my greatest honors to serve the people of Derry in the State Legislature during the past two years. I am grateful that you gave me an opportunity to be a part of one of the best legislative sessions in the state’s history and for taking me at my word that I would work full-time to bring restorative change to our great state. I tried my very best to fulfill my promise to bring jobs and economic opportunity, better health industry and insurance laws, parental rights and community empowerment, and individual liberty and safety. I am confident that I have done so. The Legislature’s balanced budget, and the $1 billion spending decrease, deregulations, tax and fee cuts, and government downsizing that enabled the responsible budget we passed, will guarantee the state’s economic growth and development in the coming years. At this time in my life, with a new child and a five-year old preparing for private school, my focus must shift to raising my family, sharing time with my wife and building my career. This decision, I believe, will benefit Derry voters as well. I believe a state representative or senator should be fully devoted to his or her office, and doing the work of the people who sent him or her there. While certainly I have given elected office my all within the last two years, I cannot devote my full attention to public life within the next two years. Therefore, I will not be seeking reelection this... read more

Manuse-Sponsored Chick Law Encourages Small, Family Farms and Sustainable Local Foods

DERRY, N.H.—Derry Republican and State Rep. Andrew J. Manuse encourages New Hampshire families to help create a sustainable local farming and food production market by taking advantage of a new state law he sponsored, which allows citizens to buy the appropriate amount of chicks for their own backyard egg-production needs. HB 1231, effective July 22, repealed a state law that prohibited businesses from selling less than 12 chicks, ducklings or goslings to any one person at a time. Since roughly three chickens produce about a dozen eggs a week, many families held back from buying chicks and raising them into egg-layers because they feared the abundance of eggs that would come from 12 chickens. Others were forced to figure out how to split their purchase with someone else. Because of the law change, families can now buy as few—or as many—chicks, ducklings or goslings as they want or need in New Hampshire without the hassle of dealing with a pointless state law. Additionally, people in cities such as Concord, which limits the number of chickens per household to five, can now buy the appropriate number of chicks for their community without worrying about what to do with the remaining birds. “From my conversations with Derry residents and others, it’s clear that this law change will get more people involved with raising chicks for backyard egg production, and such local farming activity is a great way to help develop a healthy local food supply that will hopefully grow to sustainable levels,” Manuse said. “In fact, my family purchased our first three chicks thanks to this law passing, and we will now have a dozen fresh, healthy, organic eggs every week from a source that we know well. I hope other people take advantage of this law, which will help develop a culture for local agriculture and also help stimulate business at local feed stores such as Derry Feed or Dodge... read more

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