Brown's strategy as he considers running for Senate has been to bash Obamacare and tie the Democrat he'd be running against, Jeanne Shaheen, to the law. Last week, when he announced that he was formally looking in to running for Senate, he spent almost as much time critiquing Obamacare as he did establishing his ties to New Hampshire.
On Saturday, the day after that announcement, Brown visited the home of Republican New Hampshire state representative Herb Richardson. When the conversation turned to the health care law — which Brown called it a "monstrosity" — his host said Obamacare is actually saving his family $1,000 a month. The Huffington Post picked up the story from the Coos Country Democrat, which reported that Richardson's pre-Obamacare premium was $1,100 a month. From the Democrat:
Richardson said he only received some $2,000 a month in workers' comp. payments, however, leaving little for them to live on.
"Thank God for Obamacare!" his wife exclaimed.
Brown didn't respond to that, because what can you really say? The Richardsons now pay only $136 a month. In a way, this is the Republican party's Obamacare horror story — every person who enrolls in Obamacare is one more person who would lose insurance if the law was repealed.
For Brown specifically, this might be a sign that his adoptive home isn't as anti-Obamacare as he is. Once Healthcare.gov was reliable, enrollments in took off in the Granite State.
Last week a former New Hampshire GOP chair acknowledged that his family's new Obamacare premium was $12,000 less than his old one. As the Concord Monitor reported earlier this month, about 17,000 New Hampshire residents have purchased plans through Healthcare.gov by February 1 — exceeding targets. The Monitor spoke to three individuals and families, who has all saved money with Obamacare plans but run into delays caused by the website and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the only insurer selling exchange plans in the state. Enrollments are now up to 21,000 as of March 1, according to New Hampshire Public Radio.
And there's more. A bill to expand Medicaid to 50,000 residents is being considered by the state's Democrat-led House after passing the GOP-controlled state senate earlier this month. In 2015, the plans would be issued through Medicaid, but in future years the plans would be private, similar to Arkansas's private option.
If signed into law, that would put the total number of people getting insurance through Obamacare in New Hampshire over 71,000. Make that 71,001 — in 2012 Brown admitted that his own 23-year-old daughter was one of the adult children still on her parent's plan. For his sake we hope she, at least, isn't saying, "Thank God for Obamacare."