The Lobby: Rep. Manuse says DHHS abusing its authority with fed. health care law

A meeting to discuss implementation of the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire ended with Rep. Andy Manuse charging the state Department of Health and Human Services is abusing its authority.

The Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee heard testimony Wednesday from DHHS Deputy Medicaid Director LisaBritt Solsky that the department plans to implement an increase to PCP rates as mandated by the federal health care law, and take money from the feds to do it.

Manuse, who sits on the health care committee, reacted to the news saying DHHS is going against the constitutional system of government in New Hampshire.

“They’re making a policy decision to accept money to expand Medicaid when the Supreme Court ruled the Federal Government can’t force states to expand,” Manuse said. “They’re abusing their authority at the highest level.”

The Supreme Court ruling allows states to decide whether to broaden the Medicaid program to include more low-to-moderate income residents. As part of its duties, the health care committee will make recommendations to lawmakers next year about the pros and cons of expansion.