House Republicans Move Forward with “Plan” to Decimate Services for Mental Health and Seniors

House Republicans Also Move Forward with Drastic Cuts for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities; Make it Harder for Granite Staters to Access State Services

CONCORD, NH – During Thursday’s House Finance Division meetings, House Republicans approved amendments to move forward with their “plan” to decimate services for mental health and seniors.

In Division III, House Republicans advanced a provision to eliminate a number of critical Medicaid benefits including inpatient and outpatient mental health hospital treatment, psychological services, ambulance services, and physical therapy. They also voted to delay the opening of the new 10-bed crisis unit at New Hampshire Hospital, despite the fact that there are 40 individuals currently on the waiting list.

On Thursday, House Republicans voted on a $10.5 million reduction in social services for the elderly, which includes Meals on Wheels and eliminates the ServiceLink program, as well as a cut of $52 million for services to individuals with developmental disabilities,” stated Representative Stephen Shurtleff, House Democratic Leader. “Not to mention that by closing a number of Department of Motor Vehicle substations and Health & Human Services district offices, it will be harder for NH residents to access state services.”

“While there has rightfully been considerable outrage over House Republicans’ reckless ‘plan’ to abdicate responsibility for maintaining our roads and bridges, their ‘plan’ to abandon many of our most vulnerable citizens is even more troubling,” said Representative Mary Jane Wallner, Ranking Democrat on the House Finance Committee and former Finance Committee Chair. “From seniors to those with mental health issues and developmental disabilities, every Granite Stater has family, friends or neighbors who would suffer under these irresponsible cuts.”

“Delaying the opening of a much needed mental health crisis unit isn’t fiscal responsibility, it’s a budget gimmick that will hurt real people out of pure politics,” said Representative Cindy Rosenwald, House Deputy Democratic Leader and a member of the House Finance Committee. “These misguided cuts from House Republicans to critical health services won’t actually produce savings for our state, they will simply lead to greater costs for our people, businesses and our economy down the road.”