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September 6, 2013

Parkland excluded from program under the Affordable Care Act

DERRY — A new program to cover uninsured people in New Hampshire, proposed under the federal Affordable Care Act, excludes a dozen hospitals, including Parkland Medical Center.

That could mean people who sign up for the program have to leave Derry to get health care or use a different doctor, officials said.

“I wasn’t happy about it,” Rep. Frank Sapareto, R-Derry, said yesterday after learning Parkand is out. “You can’t cut out that many providers and say we’re going to keep our own physician.”

Sapareto planned to raise the issue with fellow Republican legislators yesterday at the Statehouse, but was unsure what they can do.

Rep. Robert Fesh, R-Derry, also was displeased.

“I can’t see why Parkland is not there,” Fesh said. “I’ll be checking into it.”

Sen. Jim Rausch, R-Derry, could not believe the results of the federal law.

“My feeling is if this is the only way they can make health care affordable and accessible, then they’ve failed on all fronts,” Rausch said.

Parkland is Derry’s hospital and it’s just wrong if residents have to go elsewhere for care, he said.

“That’s a failed system,” Rausch said. “Some people may not be able to get there.”

At this point, Rausch said, state lawmakers would have to turn to the Congressional delegation and appeal to them to stop the law.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the only insurer participating in the New Hampshire insurance exchange.

Anthem officials this week told a legislative health care committee the company would exclude about a dozen of the state’s hospitals, including Parkland.

“Anthem is choosing to offer this select network of providers to offset the premium increases that would otherwise be necessary,” the company said in a press release issued yesterday.

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