"Today, I am recommending three steps to fill the remaining budget gap. First, the federal Medicaid increase expected this year will reduce that shortfall by approximately $50 million. Second, in the 1980s, the legislature established a medical malpractice insurance fund, exempt from state taxes. Over the years, this fund has built up a $110 million surplus. Under the law, the fund’s insurance premiums must be competitive with the rest of the market – and in fact its premiums are on average 10 percent below market. It cannot return this surplus without risking decimating the private insurance market. We recommend using $50 million of that fund’s surplus to help fill the remaining budget gap for fiscal year 2009 so that we can protect essential health services."Read full text of remarks here: NH budget.
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