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.

Brady Carlson, NHPR

Childcare for infants in New Hampshire is the 12th most expensive in the nation, according to a new report from a group calling for broad reform on childcare affordability across the country.

Healthnewsnet / Flickr Creative Commons

In New Hampshire, there’s about a 5-year gap between the life expectancy for adult women at the top of the income bracket and those at the bottom. For men in the same age group, the gap’s more than nine years wide.

That's according to new data released by The Health Inequality Project, which takes a sweeping look at the relationship between income and mortality across the country.

Cheezburger.com, via GIPHY

Just catching up on this week's headlines? Here's what you might've missed.

  Above the Fold: Water worries have plenty of people on edge.

Ceyhun (Jay) Isik / https://flic.kr/p/cG7qFL

In recent weeks, confusion and unease have increased in several New Hampshire towns where contamination with the chemical PFOA has been detected in private wells.

Though the EPA has yet to determine a safe level of PFOA in drinking water, Sarah Pillsbury, the administrator for public drinking water with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, is hoping that's about to change. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

This week, Alexandria Knox got to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with one of her biggest heroes.

"Speaker Jasper," she said, "he is my inspiration."

That's Shawn Jasper, the Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. 

How does University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston explain the size of the school's top salaries, including his own, to students and families struggling to pay tuition?

The leader of New Hampshire’s flagship university, speaking on NHPR's The Exchange Monday, said the school needs to offer competitive rates to attract the best talent — but Huddleston maintained that the school isn’t “overpaying” in the process.

Getty Images

The battle lines on the fight over the future of New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion are well-defined as the issue comes up for a vote in the state Senate tomorrow.

On Wednesday’s episode of The Exchange, State Sens. Jeb Bradley and Andy Sanborn — a vocal proponent and opponent of the expansion, respectively — sparred over a number of elements of the program, including its effects on the state's drug crisis.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

The question of whether to continue New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program has been one of the top State House policy debates this year.

But it's something local governments are mulling over as well. In City Halls across the state, officials say the program has led to some significant savings: in the slice of taxpayers’ money set aside for medical and prescription aid, and indirect savings in other areas.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

James O’Keefe, a conservative activist known for his undercover videos in New Hampshire and elsewhere, marched into the State House Thursday afternoon looking to make a point about how the state enforces its voting laws.

He left with a subpoena.

Over the past few weeks, the attorney general’s office had been asking O’Keefe to preserve the raw footage from a series of videos filmed around last month's presidential primary.

At least five men and five women have died of drug overdoses in New Hampshire so far in 2016, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The actual number of drug deaths this year could be higher, as an additional 86 possible overdose cases are still awaiting toxicology. It can take several months for the state to fully review a suspected overdose to confirm the cause of death.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

By 9 a.m. Saturday, the chairs inside the chapel at Mount Calvary Mausoleum were nearly full as Bishop Peter Libasci of Manchester opened the morning’s mass.

Just a few feet away from where Libasci spoke, on a table draped in a bright purple cloth, sat rows upon rows of boxes — some cardboard, some only a few inches wide —and several urns.

NHHealthCost.org

A state website that helps people compare prices across healthcare facilities relaunched this week with an expanded library of medical procedures and new information on hospital-quality measures.

The new version of NHHealthCost.Org features 31 additional medical procedures, including physical therapy, behavioral health and chiropractic care. Cost estimates for 16 dental procedures are now available, as well as new information on the retail price of 65 brand-name and generic drugs.

At least three people have died from drug overdoses so far this year in New Hampshire, but the state medical examiner's office is awaiting toxicology results on another 60 cases that have come into its lab this year.

According to the most recent data, at least 420 people died from drug overdoses in 2015 — that figure is more than double what it was two years ago.

Newly announced 1st Congressional District candidate Pam Tucker said this week that she hopes to stand out in an already-competitive Republican primary by pitching herself as the only one who's consistently stood on conservative principles.

Cheryl Senter, NHPR

Rich Ashooh, a longtime defense executive and director of the Warren Rudman Center at UNH Law, says he’s “seriously considering” another run for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.

Dank Depot via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/9c93J6

New Hampshire residents hoping to get access to medical marijuana are still waiting for the state’s dispensaries to open

Right now, those new facilities still have to go through a few more rounds of inspections before they can open their doors and start serving patients. Once they do open, patients will only be able to visit one dispensary at a time. And for residents in the northernmost region of the state, the nearest dispensary could be at least two hours away.

Marc Nozell via Flickr / Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/3MY97U

Donald Trump will head into the Republican National Convention with at least 11 of the delegates from New Hampshire’s Republican State Committee, the state party announced Monday.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

The Democratic Party is facing pushback over its rules around super-delegates, as voters question whether the system will end up hindering Bernie Sanders’s chance at the nomination despite the results of the popular vote in New Hampshire's primary.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A little over a week ago, Linda Philibert was just another regular at Blake’s Restaurant on Manchester’s West Side.

But there was little that was regular about her recent stop there last Monday morning.

RICCARDO S. SAVI, GETTY IMAGES

Gov. Maggie Hassan ordered New Hampshire flags to half staff to honor Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died this weekend at age 79.

“Justice Scalia served our country with honor and our entire nation mourns his sudden loss,” Hassan wrote in a statement. “Tom and I send our deepest condolences to Maureen, his entire family, and his many friends, loved ones and colleagues.”

Manchester Polls
Susan Posner / NHPR

An undercover video claiming to show out-of-state residents attempting to vote in the presidential primary is being reviewed by the Attorney General and is likely to renew a years-long debate over voter ID rules in New Hampshire

As state officials feared, drug overdose deaths rose significantly in New Hampshire last year, to well over 400 cases.

The latest data from the state's medical examiner show that 414 people suffered fatal overdoses in 2015, up from 326 in 2014 and 192 the year before.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After winning the Iowa Caucuses but falling behind several spots in New Hampshire, Texas Senator Ted Cruz still framed his finish in the Granite State as the latest example of his campaign defying expectations.

“Once again, the talking heads and the Washington insiders were confident that our wave of support would break against the rock of the Granite State. That a conservative, we were told, could not do well in the state of New Hampshire,” Cruz said, to some jeers.

Allegra Boverman, NHPR

  On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, speaking to an estimated 300 people inside a packed American Legion Hall in Manchester, Ted Cruz’s last pitch to voters boiled down to this: The other guys in the race might say they’re running as true conservatives, but he’s the only one with the track record to prove it.

“Nobody on that debate stage stands up and says, ‘Hi, I’m an establishment moderate squish, I stand for nothing,’” Cruz said, prompting laughs from the audience. “They run” pretending to be us.”

Sara Plourde, NHPR

Neither Morgan Brady nor Danielle Martin has made it to one of the dozens of political events hosted at their school, Saint Anselm College, in the last year.

“We’re nursing students,” Martin explained, somewhat apologetically. “So we spend a lot of time in the labs. We don’t see much sunlight.”

Still, that doesn’t mean they haven’t felt the primary’s near omnipresence on their campus.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Back in April, Shooter’s Pub in Exeter played host to one of Chris Christie’s first town halls in New Hampshire.

That was months before the New Jersey governor officially announced his bid for president, when he was still just introducing himself to the people of the Granite State.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

At campaign stops in Henniker and Hooksett on Wednesday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz riffed heavily on his ideas for reforming Washington, directing plenty of anger at the so-called political establishment.

And in this way, the Republican presidential candidate said he’s found some common ground with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, one of his Democratic rivals.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

On stage at the Crossing Life Church in Windham, Texas Senator Ted Cruz told voters his first-place finish in Iowa the night before was thanks to the same kind of coalition that united behind Ronald Reagan three decades ago.

flickr by liewcf

It’s illegal to leave a prerecorded voicemail for someone on the “do not call” registry — even if the call was placed by a live caller — according to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Newly confirmed New Hampshire Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers spent part of his first official day on the job lending his support to a plan to extend the state’s Medicaid expansion another two years.

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