The New Hampshire Senate voted on Wednesday to reject a grant from the federal government aimed at helping the state educate residents about the Affordable Care Act and related healthcare reform.
Last week, the State House had approved the $5.3 million grant, claiming New Hampshire needs to start preparing individuals and businesses within the state for implementation of the benefits exchange and other ACA changes next year.
The grant was given to the New Hampshire Insurance Department in April, but it required legislative approval before being accepted, The New Hampshire Union Leader explained.
Last year, the state announced it would implement a benefits exchange – or insurance marketplace- mandated by the ACA in partnership with the federal government.
Sen. Andy Sanborn told The Concord Monitor that because the state government voted to place much of the responsibility of the exchange in the hands of the federal government, New Hampshire doesn’t need to take on the duties of educating the public.
Meanwhile, other legislators argue healthcare reform is complex and confusing. Not making the effort to inform residents and local employers could lead these individuals to lack the knowledge they need to make informed decisions.