Only Democrat removed from Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee by The Speakah

This from the Terie Norelli today:

Speaker O’Brien Removes Democratic Member from Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee for No Reason

Committee will make recommendations on Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – New Hampshire House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli and Representative Kathleen Taylor, Democratic Policy Leader on the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee, issued the following statements regarding Representative Taylor’s removal from the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee by Speaker O’Brien. No reason was given for Representative Taylor’s removal, nor did they give her the courtesy of personally informing her of the decision.

“In the past fourteen years that I have served in the legislature, I have never been involved in any controversy of this nature. I have been a full participant of the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee and looked forward to continuing my work with the Committee,” said Representative Kathleen Taylor.  “The Committee will oversee the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. The July 25th meeting is to establish the essential benefits of the ACA for New Hampshire citizens. The Committee will make recommendations for healthcare coverage – or not – for citizens with diabetes, heart disease, mental health and many other issues. It is obvious to me that Speaker O’Brien is working hard to not allow New Hampshire to implement an expansion of Medicaid benefits for our vulnerable citizens.”

“Our citizens have told us repeatedly that they want less partisanship and more cooperation from their elected officials. Speaker O’Brien in this legislative session has appointed fewer Democratic members to Statutory and Study Committees than any Speaker in recent history. Now he has removed the only sitting Democratic member from the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee in anticipation of how that member may vote on the committee,” stated Representative Terie Norelli. “The Speaker has taken an action to limit full public discussion and has removed an experienced voice from the table. Once again the Speaker has demonstrated that he will not tolerate viewpoints that differ from his own opinion and he dismisses the representative voice of a significant segment of New Hampshire voters. I’m sure voters will remember this Speaker’s actions when casting their votes in November.”

26 Responses to Only Democrat removed from Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee by The Speakah

  1. Marjorie Porter July 3, 2012 at 2:56 am #
    • TimothyHorrigan July 3, 2012 at 3:02 am #

      Disgraceful!  You would think he would lay off us Democrats now that the session is over.  As far as I know all he is preventing Rep. Taylor from doing to write a minority report.

  2. mevansnh July 3, 2012 at 3:20 am #

    Since there will be a new legislature after the Nov. election, does this committee’s work carry any weight? or will a new committee (hopefully guided by a Democratic Speaker) hold the keys to the success of the ACA in NH?

    • Marjorie Porter July 3, 2012 at 3:34 am #

      and I don’t know.  Tim? Lucy?

      • Lucy Weber July 3, 2012 at 6:34 am #

        is over how much authority the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee has.  Its original authorization says

        The committee shall provide legislative oversight, policy direction, and recommendations for legislation with respect to the Act as it determines appropriate.

        The Rs will argue that “policy direction” gives the committee authority to act, independent of the legislature.  Ds will argue…oh that’s right.  They just removed the D from the committee.
        What I do not remember is what modifications the current legislature made to the committee, if any.  

        • Lucy Weber July 3, 2012 at 7:08 am #

          HB 1297 creates a whole new commission devoted entirely to Health Care Exchanges.  Not sure  how it interfaces with the Health Care Reform Oversight Committee above.  

      • TimothyHorrigan July 4, 2012 at 12:33 am #

        The committee has to write a report at the end of the year.  I suppose the report could carry some weight if it is a good one.  Its first year report was just a  brief summary of each of its few meetings.  The committee does continue to exist after this legislative biennium is over, and the insurance commissioner does have to get its approval before he implements the ACA.  It is unclear what happens if they disapprove of the commissioner’s proposals, however:

          420-N:4 Implementation of the Act. -
           I. The oversight committee established under RSA 420-N:3 shall determine all policies within the state of New Hampshire regarding implementation of the Act, as directed by this chapter and by any future law enacted by the general court with respect to implementation of the Act.
           II. Before establishing any standard for enforcing or implementing the Act, and before initiating any rulemaking proceeding relating to the Act, the commissioner shall obtain approval for the standard or rule from the oversight committee.
           III. The commissioner shall make periodic reports as requested by the oversight committee on the provisions of the Act that have taken legal effect in New Hampshire and on the status of the commissioner’s implementation and enforcement efforts under the Act.
           IV. The commissioner shall not implement or enforce any provision of the Act that has been ruled unconstitutional or invalid by the United States Supreme Court.

        Aside from Kathy Taylor (who is still on the list on the legislature’s website), the other members are:

        Raymond White  – Senate
        Matthew Houde  – Senate
        David Boutin  – Senate
        John Hunt  – House
        Andrew Manuse  – House

        • TimothyHorrigan July 4, 2012 at 2:59 am #

          The section after the one I quoted arguably gives the joint committee the power to stop the executive branch from doing anything at all to implement ObamaCare:

             420-N:5 Authority of the Commissioner. – Only with such prior approvals from the oversight committee as are required under RSA 420-N:4, the commissioner shall have authority to:
             I. Make, adopt, and amend rules and regulations pursuant to RSA 541-A for, or as an aid to, the administration of any provision of the Act relating to insurance;
             II. Apply for any public or private grant funds available under the Act;
             III. Apply for any waiver available under any specific provision of the Act;
             IV. Adopt and apply standards consistent with the Act for form and rate review of insurance products and any other regulatory oversight functions performed by the department; and
             V. Enforce the consumer protections and market reforms set forth in the Act that relate to insurance. This shall not include the medical assistance program under RSA 167.

          Source. 2011, 264:1, eff. July 1, 2011.

  3. elwood July 3, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    between the Republicans in the Senate and the Republicans in the House, correct?

    • susanthe July 3, 2012 at 6:15 am #

      clearly includes: teabaggers, Free Staters, and John Birchers.

      THAT’S how you do inclusive, Mr. Dowd.  

      • elwood July 3, 2012 at 6:33 am #

        at eight o’clock tonight,
        Just walk in the door and take the first turn to the right
        Be careful when you get there -
        We’d hate to be bereft,
        But we’re taking down the names of everybody turning left.

        ‘Cause we’re the John…

        Chad Mitchell Troika

        • elwood July 3, 2012 at 6:40 am #


    • JonnyBBad July 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm #
  4. Chaz Proulx July 3, 2012 at 7:05 am #
    • Lucy Edwards July 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

      scamming NH.

  5. Dave O'Brien July 3, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    The Dupont Group is a Concord, NH based business and government affairs consulting firm run by a group on hard core, NH GOP pols.

    They have a history, it appears of taking out-of-state money to work on extreme ring wing projects looking to shape NH public policy on energy law and information technology, Medicaid and healthcare; from business permitting and licensing, transportation and infrastructure, & environmental regulations and wetlands laws.

    One of their more recent NH engagement involved the NOM initiatives to repeal same sex marriage. They have also developed a blueprint on how to effectively change and/or unravel Medicare and ACA. Their website is

    Bill O’Brien would appear to be in bed with them as they just sponsored a fund raising event for him. If I lived in NH I sure would watch this very closely – looks real slimey to me.

    Doesn’t NH have laws aginst politicians taking $$’s directly from lobbying groups seeking to or having done business with the state government?

    Smells alot like the kind of stuff Bill’s good friend Sal Dimasi used to get involved in…if my memory serves me correctly, he and Bill did alot of fund raising together for Tommy.

    • Judy Reardon July 3, 2012 at 8:12 am #

      One, The Dupont Group is a bipartisan firm. Jim Monahan is an active Democrat. He ran John Rauh’s campaign for the US Senate. I worked there between John Kerry’s 2004 campaign until I left to work on Jeanne Shaheen’s US Senate. Susan Paschell, who replaced me, is a good Democrat. There are 4 lobbyists at the firm, two are GOP and two are Dems.

      Two, the  Dupont Group worked to defeat the gay marriage bill. They were part of the team put together by whatever the organization was leading the effort to defeat the bill – can’t remember the name of the organization. Defeating the bill was a full firm effort. I know this because Ed Dupont is one of the people who drive me to Dana Farber.

      • JonnyBBad July 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm #
        • JonnyBBad July 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm #
      • Dave O'Brien July 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

        In September of 2011 (according to an article in the Boston Globe), Romney picked up the endorsement of Ed Dupont in New Hampshire.
        The article described Dupont as a former state Senate president and current chairman of the University System of New Hampshire’s board of trustees. Dupont has a history of involvement in economic development, and has worked for both the public and private sector. He founded The Dupont Group, a lobbying and government consulting firm in Concord, N.H.

      • Legal Beagle July 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

        Ed runs one of the most well respected firms in Concord. Not to mention that Ed is a classy guy himself. Judy has it 100% correct (as usual and welcome back!) about the make up of his firm.
        I’ve supported Dave O’Brien’s rants in the past, but this one goes way too far.

  6. tchair July 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    What is it about Democracy that LITTLE MAN O’BRIEN has a problem with ?

    • Dartmouth Dem July 6, 2012 at 5:17 am #

      The guy may be a rotten public servant, but he didn’t murder tens of millions of people. Let’s get a little perspective here.  

  7. tchair July 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm #
  8. Dave O'Brien July 4, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    There seems to be a disconnect between the intend of my “rant” and the perception of what I posted.  I am more than willing concede to the stipulation that Ed Dupont is a fine person who runs a “classy, well-respected” firm. The original issue was not really about him but rather the implications of his sudden affiliation with the NH Speaker of the House.

    Having said that, I will answer the question:  Who cares about whether Ed Dupont is a Republican? I do and would suggest that every progressive minded person should also.  Who better than the folks of New Hampshire have learned what a Republican legislature means to the quality of life and the future of their state.  

    It seems to me when a person goes on the record in endorsing a person for office, he or she must agree with their agenda. More importantly, if Mr. Dupont is as proficient and skilled at lobbying as it has been represented, what are the implications of Romney or O’Brien leveraging such expertise to push forward more of their draconian societal change?

    Before we leave aside Mr. Dupont and his lobby activities, I have a question for those who feel I have gone too far with my criticism of the linkage between him Romney and O’Brien.  My question is (with a preface): If the Dupont Group is so well regarded, is so honorable, and has done such good work in New Hampshire, why would it now align itself with two individuals who have repeated lied about their records, mislead the public about their actions and inentions, and engaged in some of the most backward looking and repressive legislative initiatives our country has seen in more than 100 years?

    Instead shooting the messenger, perhaps considering the message first might make better sense.  One should be mindful of the lessons learned from the 2010 election. Ignoring party membership, sources of their support, accepting at face value their campaign promises, and failing to question or challenge the contradictions between their fabricated persona vs. the reality of their personal and professional history, is a sure formula for another 2 years of this right wing insanity.  

    • Judy Reardon July 5, 2012 at 2:47 am #

      I don’t see how correcting two inaccuracies in your comment is shooting the messenger.

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