Casey McDermott

State of Democracy/Health Reporter

Credit John W. Hession

Casey McDermott is a reporter covering politics, policy and healthcare.

Prior to joining NHPR, Casey worked at The Concord Monitor and held internships at ProPublica, the Student Press Law Center and the Chronicle of Higher Education. 

She studied journalism and sociology at Penn State but spent most of her days (and nights) in the newsroom of the independent student newspaper, The Daily Collegian. The Collegian was recognized nationally for its work during Casey's time as its managing editor and editor-in-chief.

via Twitter

Marty Boldin, Gov. Chris Sununu’s top drug policy advisor, has been on paid administrative leave since the end of April.

But at least one month before that, concerns about Boldin’s behavior came to the attention of the state Department of Health and Human Services, according to interviews and an email obtained by NHPR.

Wikimedia

A controversial bill to restrict residency rules for voting is on its way to the state Supreme Court for a review. The Executive Council voted along party lines on Wednesday to approve Gov. Chris Sununu’s request to ask the court to look into House Bill 1264’s constitutionality.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A pair of nearly identical bills to restrict residency requirements for voting coasted through the Republican-controlled Legislature this session.  But now, both are running into roadblocks near the finish line.

House Bill 372 and House Bill 1264 both aim to impose stricter residency standards for voting in New Hampshire by changing the state’s definition of who counts as a “resident.” 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A group of recovery centers from all across New Hampshire met with top state officials on Wednesday to plead for more funding, saying the state has placed added demand on their organizations without offering any extra financial support. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Marchand rolled out a new plan designed to give New Hampshire politicians more incentive to raise campaign money from small-dollar, in-state campaign donations instead of wealthy donors, lobbyists and corporate PACs.

“If somebody’s unable to give at least $250 or more, generally you’re told by your campaign staff and advisers that they are not worth calling or spending time trying to get money from,” Marchand told reporters on a press call outlining his new plan.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Starting in 2019, people getting health insurance through New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion program will have to comply with a new work and “community engagement” requirement in order to continue receiving coverage. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees Medicaid programs across the country, formally approved New Hampshire’s request to add the requirements on Monday.

Via LinkedIn

A top advisor to Gov. Chris Sununu has been placed on paid administrative leave and is under review by the attorney general’s office for an unspecified personnel issue.

Marty Boldin — Sununu’s Policy Advisor for Substance Misuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery — will remain on leave until the attorney general’s review is complete, the governor’s Chief of Staff Jayne Millerick said Friday afternoon.

NHPR File Photo

In a swift vote with no floor debate, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a plan to continue the state's Medicaid expansion for at least another two and a half years — and potentially as long as five.

The relatively smooth path for the Medicaid expansion bill this time around marks a stark contrast from past years, when the issue drew much more prolonged and partisan debate. The inclusion of a work requirement and a new funding scheme to avoid using state tax dollars helped to win over more Republicans this time around.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

One of two bills seeking to tighten New Hampshire’s residency standards for voting eligibility passed the State Senate on Wednesday after an hour-long debate during which Democrats accused Republicans of voter suppression and Republicans accused Democrats of promoting false narratives about what the legislation would actually do.

Given the deep field of candidates and its reputation as "the swingiest congressional district in the nation," New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District has attracted most of the spotlight this year, when it comes to campaign fundraising or otherwise. But there’s also plenty of money flowing into the 2nd Congressional District race — most of it going through the campaign bank account of incumbent Congresswoman Annie Kuster.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Despite a last-minute push by supporters to save the bill, the New Hampshire Senate voted along party lines — 14 Republicans to 10 Democrats — to send a proposed paid family and medical leave program for further study.

Flickr/ Anne and Tim (Creative Commons)

Supporters of a paid family and medical leave bill are trying to salvage their plan after a key Senate committee decided it wasn’t ready for passage.

AP

New Hampshire saw a 15 percent drop in opioid prescriptions between 2016 and 2017 — the largest drop, in percentage points, of any state in the country — according to a new report from the healthcare research firm IQVIA.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

At one point last year, it looked like New Hampshire might be turning a corner in its opioid crisis.

State officials predicted overdose deaths could decline, even slightly, in 2017: In August, they forecasted there would be 466 total, down from a record 485 the year before. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday endorsed a proposal meant to protect patients from surprise out-of-network bills at in-network medical facilities — otherwise known as “balance billing.”

But that stamp of approval came only after several last-minute rounds of negotiations to respond to lingering concerns from lobbyists representing the state’s doctors and hospitals.

Democrat Maura Sullivan continues to blitz past all other candidates running in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional district when it comes to fundraising — and, as was the case during her inaugural months in the race, most of her campaign money continues to come from outside New Hampshire.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A crowd of about 600 New Hampshire Democrats gathered in Nashua for one of their biggest events of the year, the McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Former Missouri Secretary of State (and possible 2020 presidential candidate) Jason Kander is returning to New Hampshire to headline a major Democratic party fundraiser Saturday night. 

But apart from his occasional appearances at party events over the past few months, Kander’s political committee, Let America Vote, has all the while been building an on-the-ground presence in the Granite State: rallying opposition to Republican-backed voting laws at the State House and support for Democratic candidates in local races. 

Courtesy Photo via Cole Riel

A proposal to change New Hampshire’s residency laws as a way to tighten voting eligibility drew hours of testimony, most of it in opposition, before the Senate Election Law and Internal Affairs Committee on Thursday.

N.H. Department of Health and Human Services

The scene last June at the offices of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness was cautiously optimistic as Gov. Chris Sununu and other leaders gathered to sign into law House Bill 400 — hailed as a major step forward for the state’s mental health system.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

New Hampshire hospitals are stepping up to make sure the state’s alcohol fund is financially sound for the next five years.

pixabay.com

In its first hearing on the proposal, the Senate Finance Committee heard from a bipartisan group of lawmakers, an economist and even a doctor urging them to endorse a paid family and medical leave program.

But they also heard from the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Employment Security, Richard Lavers, who cautioned that setting up such a program would require a significant time, money and staff resources.

Sara Plourde/NHPR

A plan to extend New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion another five years cleared a major hurdle in the House of Representatives on Thursday. The House approved the bill by a vote of 222-125, over the objections of some Republicans who argued Medicaid expansion has been a failure and has driven up health insurance costs.

Britta Greene for NHPR

Local officials from all corners of the state lined up Thursday for a hearing on a bill about who should have the power to delay town elections, for snowstorms or otherwise.

NHPR File

There’s been a lot of talk in the past year about the need to pass stricter voting laws and clean up New Hampshire’s elections. But there’s been a lot less talk about any specific cases of voter fraud. NHPR’s Casey McDermott wanted to find out more about what the issue actually looks like.

LRGHealthcare on Facebook

Lakes Region General Healthcare has been accused of violating consumer protection laws by hiring a Chief Nursing Officer who didn’t have a New Hampshire nursing license.

NHPR Staff

Dissatisfied with both the incumbent and his well-financed challenger, another Democrat is putting himself forward as an alternative to longtime Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

Former Manchester Representative and Alderman Peter Sullivan says he respects Gardner’s 42 years years of service in the position but believes it’s time to put someone more forward-thinking in the role.

Flickr/ Anne and Tim (Creative Commons)

The third time seems to be the charm on efforts to get a paid family and medical leave bill through the New Hampshire House. 

But the most recent passage came only after heated debate over a last-minute amendment from the House Finance Committee that would have made drastic changes to the version of the program that passed the House twice before.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The New Hampshire House voted to allow people to carry loaded guns on ATVs, snowmobiles and other off-highway recreational vehicles. A bill lifting existing restrictions passed 181-148 on Thursday but will still need Senate approval before taking effect.

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