According to the Seacoast News Papers that was the comment from some of our local politicians on the Exeter/Anthem situation. I guess if you don’t know what to do you probably will do less damage if you stand on the side lines and watch. Quite frankly I have never been one to sit on the side lines when there was work to do.
Last Weds. I met with Roger Sevigney, the NH Insurance Commissioner, Roger, Matt and I have an excellent working relationship, and we had a frank and honest private conversation. Roger is on top of this and is walking a regulatory tight rope with limited but some authority to get involved.
The prior insurance commissioner was involved in the Tufts insurance debacle. If some of you remember Tufts was a big HMO, on the financial ropes, couldn’t come to grips with the Exeter Hospital pricing, lost Exeter (I was told about 16,000 subscribers throughout the area) then lost Bath Iron Works in Maine and folded up and left NH. So we are now going through a second Exeter Hospital/Insurance carrier situation with the insured being used in the PR war. Actually I believe the fight has gone too far and both entities have severely hurt their reputations.
In the last campaign I don’t know if I got the message out as well as I would like; when (at candidates forums or going door to door) people would ask what I thought the biggest cost drivers were in health care/health insurance I would say, “greed”; GREED, on the part of the hospitals and greed on the part of the insurance companies. Unfortunately greed is a built in factor in a capitalistic society. The only time government gets or should get involved is when it becomes a consumer protection issue or consumers are getting screwed in any other way. We don’t want to regulate; but, we need to have the authority to get involved when a situation gets out of hand.
Like I said, I met with Roger and I believe he is on top of the situation and I made my and Matt’s feelings known.
THE DIRECTION OF THE LEGISLATURE!!!
The speaker of the house, speaker William O’Brian (some refer to him as “Billy O”, has given his marching orders, the house will prioritize the budget and financial part of our business as the prime objective. Of course there other bills out there repeal gay marriage, parental notification and others; but, it is more of a routine maintenance in the legislature than a social reform swing in any direction. I have a couple of bills one to study insurance contracting with medical providers and a couple of other study committees, one dealing with pre-buys for oil contracts and a few others; but, being on finance the main gist with Chairman Ken Weyler and marching orders from Billy O is budget, budget and budget. We’ll get the other stuff done and will fix our finances as well. Remember the old saying, “If you put liberals in office they spend, if you put conservatives in office they save”. The republicans are in office and we tend to be fiscally conservative.
AN IDEA TO HELP SAVE TAX PAYERS $’s IN EXETER!!!
I did a little checking around and it looks like it would be legal to elect our tax assessor. That would make him directly responsible to the voters and tax payers and not the Selectman or Town Manager. That way maybe we would avoid the Vision Appraisal fiasco of them increasing our tax bill and refusing to come to check the taxpayer’s property.
What it appears it would take would be 25 petitioners to sign a warrant article/petition to put it on the town warrant. Anyone that wants to can go to it.