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August 18, 2017

NH GOP Files Freedom of Information Act Request to Federal HHS to Find Out What Maggie Hassan Knew About Medicaid Funding and When She Knew It

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: August 18, 2017

Contact: Patrick Hynes, 202-321-5310

NH GOP Files Freedom of Information Act Request to Federal HHS to Find Out What Maggie Hassan Knew About Medicaid Funding and When She Knew It

CONCORD – Today, the New Hampshire Republican State Committee filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The purpose of the request is to determine what then-Governor Maggie Hassan knew about the funding model for NH’s Medicaid expansion costs using voluntary contributions from hospitals, and when she knew it. NH GOP Chair Jeanie Forrester made the following statement:

“Over the past week, Maggie Hassan’s Medicaid expansion funding story has already changed four times.  First, she blamed the administration, then she blamed the Legislature, then, after more facts came out, she started to acknowledge her role, and now she’s simply trying to dump the mess she made onto Governor Sununu.  She’s changed her story so many times now that it’s hard to keep track of all the people she’s tried to shift the responsibility to for leaving a ticking time bomb in the hands of NH taxpayers.”

“It is clear we can’t trust Maggie Hassan on this issue, so it’s time we get to the bottom of what she knew and when she knew it.  Since the consequences of her actions could cost New Hampshire taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, we are filing this FOIA request to find out precisely what happened.  Maggie Hassan won’t take responsibility for her actions, so it’s important to take this step to hold her accountable.”

A copy of the FOIA request can be found here. 

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BACKGROUND

Last Friday, Sen. Hassan blamed the Trump administration for the failures of the Medicaid expansion proposal:

“This is a deliberate attempt by the Trump Administration to sabotage New Hampshire’s…Medicaid expansion plan”

http://www.unionleader.com/Trumps-HHS-to-NH:-Fix-Medicaid-expansion-flaw-by-end-of-2018-or-face-shutdown

By Monday, talking with the Keene Sentinel, Hassan shifted her story to throw blame to Republican legislators:

Republican legislators said to me that they knew that the way they were funding this program would be scrutinized by CMS and would possibly be challenged by CMS, and they said they thought that they had made it as legally defensible as they could”

https://twitter.com/EDeWittKS/status/897140332202274816

By Tuesday, Hassan’s staff acknowledged that the funding scheme was always legally dubious:

“When CMS during the Obama administration raised concerns that the funding structure constituted a so-called ‘hold harmless’…then-Governor Hassan worked to ensure continued funding for the program”

http://www.concordmonitor.com/NH-s-Medicaid-expansion-funding-in-jeopardy-11884730

Finally, by Wednesday, Hassan’s sole focus was on unloading responsibility for her mess onto Governor Sununu:

“Senator Hassan expressed to Governor Sununu the need for constant engagement with CMS on a wide range of Medicaid issues, and it is incumbent upon Governor Sununu and Republicans in the Legislature to work with the Trump Administration to ensure that federal funding for the program continues”

http://www.unionleader.com/health/Medicaid-Hassan-enlisted-hired-gun-as-governor-08172017