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Letter: Will Boutin earn his praise from the ‘Monitor’?

On Nov. 2, 2012, the Monitor endorsed Republican David Boutin for the District 16 Senate seat, representing Bow, Dunbarton, Hooksett and other nearby towns. The editor said: “What sets him apart is his eagerness to work in a bipartisan fashion when possible with his colleagues and spend money when circumstances require it.” The paper called him an “affable legislator who serves as a bridge between the parties.” Boutin won by fewer than 400 votes – one of the smallest margins in the district for quite a while.

One wonders how much the Monitor’s endorsement counted in that margin.

As we anticipate the vote by the Senate on accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid, I hope we can hold Boutin accountable to working in a bipartisan fashion and see the value in voting with his Democratic colleagues. Patients in his district will suffer, perhaps even die, without health insurance. Some may have to declare bankruptcy over the next few years from unpaid medical bills without Medicaid.

Some of his fellow Republican senators have put forward a sham delaying tactic of spending money to “study” this issue instead of voting for the program. Medicaid, while not perfect, does relieve suffering and save lives.

A recent Oregon study showed that Medicaid offers significant mental health benefits – something New Hampshire could surely use more of.

The federal government has proposed paying for 100 percent of the increased cost of this Medicaid expansion for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.

It is hard not to be cynical hearing Republican senators eschewing this money when for years the New Hampshire state budget depended upon Medicaid money to balance its bottom line. The voting public needs to watch Boutin carefully to see if he will help or hurt his fellow citizens.

Dr. STEPHEN ELGERT

Bow

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