Back in February, I wrote about NH State Rep. Jeanine Notter who expressed her views about health insurance at hearing:
During yesterday’s hearing on HB 440 - which seeks to remove New Hampshire from the new health law and bar the NH Insurance Department from enforcing consumer protections - Representative Jeanine Notter of Merrimack told a member of the public that health reform is not needed because she is sure, just sure, that communities will rally around cancer patients and help them cover their costs.
That resulted in a certain amount of ridicule aimed at Rep. Notter, who will now forever be linked to the concept of "cupcakes for cancer." The three northernmost counties in NH have the highest numbers of uninsured residents, so that joke leaves a bitter aftertaste for those of us who live in the north country. NH is a small state, with only 1.3 million residents. As a result, we have one insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross, that insures 72% of the state. That monopoly has resulted in a distinct lack of competition, and given that we are a small market, insurance companies aren't exactly eager to locate here, unless they're able to cherry pick the areas they wish to serve. The NH legislature has ordered our State AG to join the lawsuit against the national health care reform law.
NH musician and songwriter Seth Austin recently recorded a song about Rep. Notter's comments, and the general level of uncertainty and concern we feel about being uninsured, especially in the northern half of the state. Here's Seth, singing with his partner Beverly Woods:
cross-posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org