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Sanborn has failed to keep his promise

Republican state senator Andy Sanborn of Bedford has not been serving the people of District 9, which also includes Dublin, Fitzwilliam, Greenfield, Hancock, Jaffrey, Lyndeborough, Mont Vernon, New Boston, Peterborough, Richmond, Sharon, Temple, and Troy. His recent votes against Medicaid expansion, both as a member of the study commission and in the Senate shows his shortsightedness and hardness of heart. In addition, his and his Republican Senate colleagues’ insistence on back of the budget cuts keeps the waiting list for services for young adults with developmental disabilities. The waiting list ceased to exist, thanks to the work of Democratic and Republican legislators under the previous Democratic majorities (2007-2010), but came back in the last budget, the one designed and passed under then-Speaker Bill O’Brien.

I remember before the 2012 election, Sen. Sanborn told a Peterborough gathering organized by ABLE-NH, a disability rights group, that he would make sure there would be no wait list. He did the exact opposite of this and now there are many young adults throughout the region who are isolated, and whose overall development will be impeded because of Sanborn’s actions. Often family members of these individuals are forced to give up employment in order to care for them, thereby impoverishing families as well.

Sanborn’s recent refusal to expand Medicaid coverage in accordance with the Affordable Care Act will keep 50,000 New Hampshire citizens without access to health care, some of whom live in our region. His vote in the negative also deprives New Hampshire of $2 billion in federal funds, funds that will be used by other states, states that chose to expand Medicaid. One of those states is Arizona, whose conservative Republican Governor, Jan Brewer, lobbied for expansion and happily signed the bill. Even Brewer, a vociferous critic of the President, was able to put ideology aside for the good of her citizens.

Sen. Sanborn was not able to put ideology aside. The only reason to vote against Medicaid expansion is ideology. Like it or not, the Affordable Care Act is law, duly passed by Congress and signed by the President. The main part of it was upheld by the Supreme Court, and the President was soundly re-elected after the law was passed. Sen. Sanborn and his Republican colleagues’ only goal in killing it is to try to make Democrats look bad by making the law more difficult to implement. Meanwhile, more than a few of those 50,000 will probably die as a result.

Jennifer Daler of Temple is a former member of the N.H. House of Representatives.

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