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For Immediate Release Contact: Ola Lessard (603) 303-9467
Date: November 15, 2005 ola@lessardcommunications.com


“Michelle’s Law” (NH House Bill 37) Gets One Step Closer
NH Commerce Committee Votes 19 - 0 in Favor of Passage

Concord, NH… The New Hampshire Commerce Committee voted unanimously to recommend passage of NH House Bill 37, known as “Michelle’s Law” today. The count brought tears to the eyes of AnnMarie Morse, the mother and teacher whose daughter, Michelle was the inspiration of the bill to protect ill college children from losing their health insurance. Michelle lost her 23-month battle with colon cancer, but supported her mother’s efforts to help other students until her death last week at age 22.

AnnMarie Morse was thankful for today’s victory, but expressed the need to keep fighting until the bill comes before a full vote of the NH House and Senate. The House vote is expected some time during the first week of January.

“I want to thank everyone on the committee and behind the scenes who has helped make today’s step forward possible. It’s a big step forward, but we’re not there. I can’t give up until this bill is on the Governor’s desk, being signed into law,” said Morse. Morse urged people to visit www.michelleslaw.com, where they can learn more about the legislation, sign the online petition and send emails directly to their local representatives.

Morse also announced her intentions to take Michelle’s Law to the national level following the vote next year. “Several months ago, Michelle told me she wanted to take this national, to travel with me around the country, to make sure no one in any State has to go through what we have,” said Morse. “I knew then that she was dying, and I thought, ‘yup, honey. You’ll be there. You’ll be an angel riding on my shoulder.’”

In comments to the committee prior to the vote, Committee Chair Sheila Francouer recognized Michelle’s death and commended AnnMarie Morse for her tenacity and persistence in lobbying for the bill. While Francouer stated that she’d never met Michelle, she recognized the young woman’s battle to fight her cancer and commented, “I have a feeling that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.”

About HB37, Michelle’s Law
Current law allows full time students to remain on their parents health care plans, but if a student becomes very ill or injured and has to cut back or take a medical leave, he or she will no longer be considered full time, and can be cut from the plan. Michelle’s Law proposes a 12-month period in which insurance coverage would continue while the child focused on healing.






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