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.”