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Senators from both sides of the aisle want Trump to clear the air on the Khashoggi killing. Also on the Wednesday rundown: Massachusetts leads the U.S. in the fentanyl-overdose death rate; plus we will let you know why business want to preserve New Mexico’s special places.

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NH Advocates Hope Next Debate Keeps Focus on Dueling Medicare Plans

PHOTO: The David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex at Hofstra University, site of the second 2012 presidential debate. Courtesy Hofstra University
PHOTO: The David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex at Hofstra University, site of the second 2012 presidential debate. Courtesy Hofstra University
October 15, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. - It was the subject of heated exchanges in the vice presidential debate, and local advocates are hoping both parties' dueling health-reform plans get even more serious scrutiny in Tuesday night's Obama-Romney rematch. During the vice presidential debate, Republican nominee Paul Ryan accused the current administration of having an "Obamacare Board" that would "lead to denied care for current seniors." Ned Helms, director of the Institute for Health Policy and Practice at UNH, says quite the opposite is true, as the Affordable Care Act expands to reach more New Hampshire residents of all ages.

"Businesses are getting rebates for the premiums that they pay; kids with pre-existing conditions are now being covered People see it in their day-to-day lives - it's very real for them. It's about time that it became real for the politicians."

Romney has indicated there are "some parts" of the Affordable Care Act he would like to preserve, but has yet to be specific as to how his plan would pay for them. Romney and Obama meet again tomorrow night in New York to debate foreign and domestic policy.

Romney says repealing the Affordable Care Act is a top priority. Marc Steinberg, deputy director of health policy with Families USA, says that move would affect nearly 14,000 New Hampshire residents who are now receiving help with prescription drug coverage.

"The average value help was $631 per person in 2011. Under the Romney plan, they would lose that help, and the coverage gap is going to get bigger and bigger each year. "

Steinberg says even more local residents have a financial stake in the preventive health-care provisions that are currently providing benefits in New Hampshire.

"Last year, 155,000 thousand people with Medicare in New Hampshire got free preventive services from Medicare. Under the Romney plan, Medicare would again start charging cost-sharing for those preventive benefits. "

Ned Helms says it's critical that voters keep a close eye on what the competing Democratic and Republican health reform plans have to offer.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH