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AARP AARP States New Hampshire Advocacy

2023 Legislative Session Addresses Many of AARP NH’s Priorities

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The New Hampshire legislature finished the 2023 session having notched several wins for older adults in the state. AARP is proud that our lobbying efforts and the engagement of our members and volunteers helped to achieve policy changes that fulfill AARP’s mission: to empower people to choose how they live as they age.

All your work paid off! Our Capital City Task Force Volunteers as well as our e-activists fully engaged with our elected officials by phone, email, in-person, letters to the editor, testimony and at hearings throughout the legislative session to strongly advocate for priorities important to Granite Staters age 50-plus.

Below is a summary of our 2023 state legislative priorities and the session outcomes.

We went into the 2023 session with three main goals:

  • Protect the Prescription Drug Affordability Board;
  • Improve access to home- and community-based long-term care services;
  • Secure long-term re-authorization of the Granite Advantage Health Care Program.

We also took on three other issues: mandatory retirement age for judges, restrictions on nursing home voting, and brain health awareness.

AARP New Hampshire appreciates the bipartisan efforts that resulted in the passage of many key priorities during the 2023 Legislative Session, including these highlights:

1. Protect the Prescription Drug Affordability Board
Two bills were filed that would have eliminated (HB130) or severely curtailed the work of (HB172) the Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB).

AARP POSITION: OPPOSED both pieces of legislation

Three years ago, the New Hampshire legislature and Governor Sununu created the PDAB. The intention of the Board is to make it clear what big drug companies are charging the state for prescription drugs and recommending ways for the state – and therefore taxpayers – to save money. Unfortunately, it has never gotten off the ground because some policymakers have tried to kill it since the beginning. The PDAB is a mighty tool in the arsenal of strategies to rein in the high cost of prescription drugs.

THE OUTCOME & WHAT IT MEANS FOR GRANITE STATERS: Both bills were retained in committee, meaning they can’t come up for a vote until January 2024. In the meantime, the Board for the first time will be able to hire staff since the final budget includes $250,000 to pay for staff salaries for two years.

2. Improving access to home- and community-based long-term care services
Legislators introduced two bills intended to enable more people to age in their community rather than in a nursing home as long as their health allows it. SB36 was to create a system of care for healthy aging and SB86 was to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for providers. Currently, NH’s system is overwhelming slanted in favor of nursing home care.

SB36 - System of Care for Healthy Aging


SB36 outlined a system of care that provided options for the appropriate level of care when, where, and how the patient prefers. The bill also included: a description of a comprehensive system of care for long-term services and supports, increased capacity for the entities that currently provide information to be people about how to find long-term care services and supports, and an accountability mechanism for the state government to take important steps towards implementing a system of care.

THE OUTCOME & WHAT IT MEANS FOR GRANITE STATERS: The 2024-2025 budget incorporates the provisions of SB36, paving the way for substantial improvements in long-term care.

SB86 - Medicaid Provider Reimbursement Rates


The Medicaid program funds a variety of long-term care services and supports for people who are income eligible. Of particular note are the services allowing people to age at home such as assistance with showering, medication reminders, medical condition assessments and ensuring they have food, clean bedding and clothing.

Wages for home health care workers are quite low, one reason for severe staffing shortages that make it difficult for families to find care. New Hampshire’s leading providers of home health services warned lawmakers that unless their reimbursement rates were increased substantially, they could no longer provide services to Medicaid recipients beginning July 1, 2023.

THE OUTCOME & WHAT IT MEANS FOR GRANITE STATERS: The 2024-2025 State Budget includes a substantial increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates. Overall, the rates increased by about 11 percent. This change averts a crisis and takes an important step toward recruiting and retaining health care workers.

3. Secure long-term reauthorization of the Granite Advantage Health Care Program (SB263)

The Granite Advantage Health Care Program provides health insurance for about 13,000 Granite Staters between the ages of 50 and 64 each year who have low incomes and no access to health insurance through an employer. Without action, the program would have ceased to exist at the end of 2023. Programs like this across the country have demonstrated positive effects such as lower mortality, better health outcomes, and less spending by the state, employers, and individuals.

THE OUTCOME & WHAT IT MEANS FOR GRANITE STATERS: After consistent and relentless pressure from AARP, business groups, hospitals, and others, the legislature reauthorized the program for seven years.

Three Other Important Bills
The legislature considered a number of additional bills of particular relevance to Granite Staters 50-plus.

HB496 - Imposing new requirements regarding the delivery of absentee ballots to nursing homes and elder care facilities


This legislation would have made it more difficult for people in long-term care facilities to exercise their right to vote by requiring observers from both parties to accompany a clerk when they delivered ballots to a nursing home. The concern was that some nursing home residents could have been disenfranchised if party representatives were not available to join the clerk.


CACR6 – Increasing the mandatory retirement age for NH judges


CACR6 is a proposed constitutional amendment that will raise the mandatory retirement age of NH judges from 70 to 75 years old. AARP believes that workers should be evaluated based on their abilities and job performance, not on an arbitrary factor such as age.

THE OUTCOME & WHAT IT MEANS FOR GRANITE STATERS: The bill passed both the House and the Senate. The proposed constitutional amendment will appear on the ballot in November 2024 and will need the support of 2/3 of voters to succeed.

SB234 – Create a public awareness campaign on brain health, Alzheimer's disease, and related dementias


This bill would require the NH Department of Health and Human Services to create a public awareness campaign regarding brain health. The campaign would raise public awareness of dementia, reduce stigma, encourage detection of cognitive impairment, and promote brain health.

THE OUTCOME & WHAT IT MEANS FOR GRANITE STATERS: The 2024-2025 budget includes $500,000 to fund the development and implementation of this public awareness campaign.

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