Yesterday Governor Maggie Hassan called on the Executive Council to allow a special session of the legislature to push for her outrageous agenda to help resolve the perceived drug crisis in New Hampshire. Not only does Hassan want to increase spending by millions of dollars she wants to play doctor and limit how many pain pills a doctor is allowed to prescribe each month.
When did Hassan become a medical doctor? It’s unclear. Last New Hampshire residents knew she was a lawyer. The problem with her plan begins with the political games that she and others are playing regarding the ‘heroin/opioid crisis’ in the state. Last year there were 97 deaths from heroin-related drugs and 327 total deaths from drugs.
In a state that has 1.3 million residents, that .0002% of the total population who have died from drug-related overdoses. That .0002% of drug overdoses were choices people made to ingest drugs that could potentially kill them. Of the 1.3 million residents, .00008% are drug overdoses related to heroin.
Taxpayers currently pay millions of dollars on drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and that number doesn’t include the millions they pay for law enforcement across the state. Suddenly Hassan believes that throwing millions more is going to change anything? She is using a perceived ‘crisis’ for political hackery, just like when she hired a useless ‘drug czar’ who didn’t bother consulting with those on the front lines like law enforcement, doctors and emergency rooms.
Hassan wants taxpayers to dip into their pockets and hand out another $11 million dollars for the ‘drug crisis’ by increasing the size of government and spending more on programs that already have millions of taxpayer dollars in hand. From her press release:
Appropriating funds for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017 to support comprehensive efforts to combat substance abuse:
$3.1 million to implement a statewide drug court system, with a coordinator based in the judicial branch, providing 50 percent of drug court funding to counties that agree to participate and abide by evidence-based drug court practices and procedures;
$2 million to the Department of Safety to provide additional law enforcement support to the hardest-hit communities – similar to the grant-funded effort now occurring in Manchester – and to continue to address the backlog in the State Police Forensic Laboratory;
$800,000 to the Department of Corrections to support probation and parole officers working with hard-hit communities;
$100,000 to upgrade the technological capabilities of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program;
$135,000 to add an attorney to the Department of Justice to focus on opioid-related crimes and issues;
$5 million to the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery to support community-based treatment, prevention and recovery efforts.
On top of this she wants to reauthorize Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion at a time when the program is already imploding across the country and state. Hospitals are already pulling out because they were lied to about the payments they would receive if they participated. Medicaid Expansion is crashing across the country because it’s simply not paying the amounts promised, especially to those hospitals who were already at the highest tier for service. Apparently a hospital receives more in payments as they improve. What happens if a hospital doesn’t need to improve? Lower payments.
Hassan also wants to limit the number of pain pills that a doctor can prescribe per month to 100. From her press release: http://governor.nh.gov/media/news/2015/pr-2015-11-03-substance-abuse.htm
Limiting prescriptions to 34 days or 100 dosage units
Suddenly “Doctor Hassan” knows better than your doctor how many pain meds you need each day. This works out to be about 3 pain pills a day. For your Grandmother who may be dying of cancer, this is hardly enough pain pills to actually help her live out her days comfortably. What about those who have rheumatoid arthritis or other severe and chronic pain that absolutely need pain pills just to make it through the day as a ‘normal’ human being? Dr. Hassan thinks she knows better than your doctor. A bill like this was killed in the New Hampshire Senate last year.
This is nothing but a political play by Hassan AND some Republicans to pretend they are doing something about an issue that has been going on for a long time. This isn’t ‘suddenly’ a crisis. That’s why there are already millions of taxpayer dollars spent on trying to ‘help.’ Clearly the millions of dollars already being spent aren’t working that well other than when law enforcement catches drug dealers. Of course, that’s part of their job in the first place.
Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion isn’t going to solve the issue. Medicaid already covers drug treatment and the majority of people who were eligible for the expansion already had health insurance from their employers. All of these huge increases in spending on the backs of hard-working taxpayers does absolutely nothing to solve any perceived drug problem but it DOES take money away from other programs.
These political games that are being played at New Hampshire taxpayers’ expense must end. The Executive Council voted to call the legislature into a special session on November 18th to discuss and potentially vote on Hassan’s insane agenda. The only Executive Councilor to vote against it was Dave Wheeler, apparently he’s the only one with any common sense. It’s time the legislature actually look at the reality of the issues; stop playing emotional games and condemn Hassan and others for playing politics with their constituents.