Dan believes health care is a right and not a privilege. It’s critical that we continue to expand access to quality, affordable health care for everyone. Under Governor Sununu, New Hampshire has the highest health care costs in the nation, even prior to COVID-19. COVID-19 has pushed our healthcare system to the edge, with health care workers losing their jobs, some providers going out-of-business, and the remaining providers and workers struggling to provide care, while risking their own health in the process. Dan was the first to propose a Frontline Worker Fund to provide an additional hazard pay to healthcare workers on the frontlines. As Governor, Dan will shore up our healthcare system, undertake real planning with real support for healthcare, and will fight to lower healthcare costs for working families and small businesses.
At the State House, Dan has been a leader on healthcare policy. He served as a lead Democratic negotiator for the reauthorization of Medicaid Expansion in both 2016 and 2018 — protecting access to health care for over 50,000 Granite Staters. In 2016, Dan co-led a bipartisan effort to break down insurance company barriers to emergency in-patient opioid treatment. Also, as a result of legislation Dan filed in 2016, the first-ever commission to deal with mental health parity was established and the first-ever market conduct review of mental health parity was undertaken. In 2018, Dan passed landmark bipartisan legislation to combat childhood lead poisoning from both paint and water. And over several years, Dan has sponsored and gotten passed various measures helping senior citizens get better healthcare, including dementia and memory care standards and training.
In 2019, Dan introduced and passed legislation to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions by codifying provisions of the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire law. Meanwhile, Governor Sununu supported the Trump-backed federal legislative effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In 2019, Dan was also the prime sponsor and passed the first-ever comprehensive children’s system of mental health care in New Hampshire, including a statewide mobile crisis and intervention team for children so any child in distress can receive treatment within an hour from a highly trained team. As Vice-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and one of the state’s budget writers, Dan fought for increased funding for the public health department, so critical now in light of COVID-19.
One of the reasons New Hampshire has the highest health care costs in the nation is the lack of preventative care. That includes the absence of paid family and medical leave insurance, enabling workers to get the help, the treatment, and the timely medical care they need, without risking their families economic security. Dan has long championed paid family and medical leave insurance. Dan’s bill in 2019, Senate Bill 1, the top priority of the New Hampshire Senate, was unfortunately vetoed by Governor Sununu, who then auctioned off a copy of his veto at a partisan political fundraiser.
In 2020, Dan sponsored legislation to combat skyrocketing prescription drug costs in New Hampshire. Dan has led the charge on a bipartisan bill to allow the importation of safe, low-cost prescription drugs from Canada. Dan is also fighting for children, families and seniors with diabetes, who all-too often ration their life-sustaining Insulin, by proposing to cap the out-of-pocket costs of Insulin at $100 per month.
As Vice-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, recognizing the states are more important now than ever in protecting women’s health care and reproductive freedom, Dan worked to ensure that the state provided resources for women’s health centers that were losing funding because of the Trump administration’s unjust Title X Gag rule. Governor Sununu has voted against Planned Parenthood funding and supported numerous anti-choice justices. Dan has fought for Planned Parenthood every step of the way. As Governor, Dan will always protect a woman’s right to a full range of reproductive services including safe, legal abortion.
Unfortunately, under Governor Sununu, we still have one of the worst opioid public health problems in the nation, with one of the worst treatment capacities to deal with it. That has driven up health care costs on everyone. Despite good people on the ground trying their best, Governor Sununu’s so-called “Doorways” program is a failure. It is largely an intake and referral program without treatment capacity on the backend. In other words, it is Doorway to nowhere. As Vice-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Dan also helped secure the first state investment in the Safe Station program that has helped thousands of Granite Staters, and Dan fought for provider rate increases for behavioral health care. Unfortunately, Governor Sununu has already cut those provider rates out of the budget, harming our ability to maintain or expand much needed treatment capacity. Governor Sununu also vetoed SB 5, a bipartisan bill which received a 24-0 vote in the Senate, which would have provided critical help for addiction and mental health treatment. As Governor, Dan will fight to expand treatment capacity across the continuum of care, not just talk about it. It’s long overdue, it’s the right thing to do, and it reduces costs for everyone in the end.
Read Dan’s full health care plan here.
Read the Legislation:
- SB 599 (2020), relative to testing for lead in water in schools and child care facilities
- HB 1280 (2020), capping insulin costs at $100 per month
- SB 255 (2020), dementia training for direct care staff in residential facilities
- HB 3 and HB 4 (2019), the New Hampshire state budget, which backfilled funding for women’s health centers put at-risk from the Trump administration’s Title X gag rule, increase Medicaid provider rates, and provided funding for Safe Stations
- SB 1 (2019), paid family and medical leave insurance
- SB 6 (2019), increasing staff at DCYF
- SB 260 (2019), establishing a low-income prescription drug pilot program
- SB 272 (2019), mental health parity under insurance laws
- SB 14 (2019), establishing the comprehensive children’s system of care
- SB 4 (2019), codifying the protections for people with preexisting conditions in state law
- HB 484 (2017), studying seacoast cancer cluster investigation
- SB 532 (2016), removing prior authorization requirements for substance use disorder treatment