Earlier this month, Kevin Landrigan explained how the political ambitions of state Sens. Jeb Bradley and Andy Sanborn killed House Bill 668. Opponents had attacked the legislation to align state and federal health care insurance regulations as aiding and abetting implementation of the Affordable Care Act — a definite no-no for a Republican anticipating a contested primary battle.
The House then added the legislation to Senate Bill 148 and the action moved to a Committee of Conference. Last week, the committee that originally included Bradley and Sanborn approved the bill, but only after the two senators bailed. Kevin Landrigan has the sordid details:
[O]ne insurance company executive after another warned Senate GOP leaders that if something wasn’t done, Washington was going to take over the small group and individual insurance markets and cause a severe spike in health insurance rates, particularly for younger and healthier workers.
Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, and Sen. Andy Sanborn, R-Bedford, were able to protect their political viability going forward by getting off the conference committee that settled this issue (SB 148).
State and national GOP leaders in particular believe Shaheen’s support for Obamacare could prove to be a real liability for her, and Bradley doesn’t want to be seen as allying himself with that issue in any way as he seriously considers a U.S. Senate primary challenge.