Todd Bookman

Health Reporter

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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Health
10:08 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

House and Senate Each Offer Deal On Expansion, But No Compromise In Sight

Leaders in the Democratically-controlled New Hampshire House are seeking to cut a deal with Senate Republicans that would expand the state’s Medicaid program.  But hours after receiving the proposal Tuesday, members of the upper chamber said they can’t move forward with the plan, and offered their own course of action.

Medicaid expansion remains a key sticking point as lawmakers seek to finalize the state’s next budget by Thursday’s deadline.

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NH News
5:30 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Lawmakers Appear In No Rush To Compromise On Major N.H. Budget Issues

The (electrifying) scene inside of the Legislative Office Building as lawmakers hammer out the state's next budget.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

  

With a Thursday deadline fast approaching for an agreement on the state’s next budget, House and Senate leaders remain apart on many of the issues that divide them. 

Medicaid expansion--perhaps the most divisive single item--remains on hold. So do House-backed increases to the gas and cigarette tax.

The two sides did spar on the Senate’s proposed $50 million so-called back of the budget cut to state personnel. Democrat Mary Jane Wallner, lead House negotiator, opposes the move, and says public services have already been cut to the bone.

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Politics
5:30 am
Mon June 17, 2013

'Obamacare' And Green Energy Bill Bound Together By Poison Pill Tactic

Credit Land Rover Our Planet / Alex E. Proimos / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire is one of only three states with a split legislature: Republicans control the Senate, Democrats the House of Representatives. The two bodies have shown an ability to work together on some issues this session, including business tax credits and limits on lead fishing tackle.

But with the end of the legislative year fast approaching, inter-chamber gamesmanship is on the rise. It can start simple enough. A routine legislative procedure on the House floor.

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Health
5:03 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Federal Government Confirms State Could Drop Medicaid Expansion At Any Time

New Hampshire can withdraw from an expanded Medicaid program at any time, according to a letter received Thursday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.

The letter comes as legislative negotiators are poised to meet to finalize the state’s budget.

A point of impasse between the Democratically-held house and Republican-controlled Senate has been an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program.

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NH News
5:58 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Two Days After Release From Psychiatric Hospital, Man Stands Accused of Murder

A Laconia man was arraigned today in District Court on 2nd degree murder charges stemming from an incident over the weekend. 19-year old Kasey Riley is accused of strangling Zachary March inside apartments run by Genesis Behavioral Health. Genesis provides support to residents, but not 24-hour monitoring at the facility.

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Health
5:47 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Planned Parenthood Joins Fight Over Medicaid Expansion

Dr. Becky Ewing, NH March of Dimes Program Services Committee member, speaks at the event in Concord.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

 Women’s health advocates took to the statehouse today, calling for an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. The issue remains a sticking point as lawmakers work to finalize the state’s budget.

Planned Parenthood’s Jennifer Frizzell estimates that 61% of those able to sign up for an expanded Medicaid program are women, and she accuses GOP lawmakers of being oblivious to what they want.

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Health
5:29 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

12 New Beds At State Psychiatric Hospital Called 'Partial Solution'

Governor Hassan today announced the reopening of 12 psychiatric beds at New Hampshire Hospital. They'll be used to treat adults over the age of 55 in need of both psychiatric help and medical attention, and are meant to shore up a mental health system that the Governor calls deeply strained.

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Health Care
5:12 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Health Care Exchanges May Not Provide Many Options

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

It's not exactly a buyer's market for people who purchase their own health insurance. Prices can be high and options severely limited. A key piece of the Affordable Care Act is supposed to change that. New health exchanges will allow people to comparison shop for insurance, maybe even get a subsidy to help pay for it.

But as New Hampshire Public Radio's Todd Bookman reports, some people may still be left with few choices.

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Health
5:00 am
Mon June 10, 2013

New Hampshire's Health Exchange Monopoly

via WUKY

It wasn’t exactly a victory lap, but the president was in California last week praising an early success of the Affordable Care Act.

Speaking in San Jose on Friday, Obama touted the California health insurance exchange--one of the new online marketplaces where individuals and small business employers can shop for coverage and apply for subsidies starting October 1.

California's exchange will have 13 companies competing for business and rates far below what experts predicted.

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Health
6:08 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

State Announces 'Secondary Case' In Hepatitis C Outbreak

State public health officials say another person has tested positive for Hepatitis C stemming from last year’s outbreak at Exeter Hospital. 

That brings the total number to 33.

A former hospital employee was arrested last July in connection with the spread of the virus inside the cardiac catheterization lab. Prosecutors say David Kwiatkowski reused syringes on patients after injecting himself with powerful pain killers.

Dr. Jose Montero, the state’s public health director, says it appears this latest case, though, is from sexual contact.

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Health
4:53 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Hassan Calls Medicaid Expansion 'A Good Deal' For The State

Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Supporters of Medicaid expansion filled the lobby of the Legislative Office Building in Concord for a mid-morning press conference. The show of force comes in advance of Thursday’s budget vote in the Senate.

Flanked by reform advocates, hospitals administrators and doctors, Governor Hassan pressed lawmakers to take advantage of the federal government’s promise to pay 100% of the costs of expansion for the first three years.

She quoted New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, who supports expansion and says it will save money for taxpayers in his state.

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Health
5:02 am
Thu May 30, 2013

How An Experiment In Oregon Is Impacting N.H.'s Medicaid Expansion Decision

One of the biggest and most contentious issues of this spring’s budgeting process remains whether or not the state should expand Medicaid. When the Supreme Court ruled last summer on the Affordable Care Act, it said the Federal government can’t force states to expand. Instead, states must be given a choice about growing the health care program for the poor.

Governor Hassan and the Democratically controlled House favor expansion, and the House included it in its proposed spending plan.

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Health
4:54 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Group Prenatal Care Takes Root In New Hampshire

Just off from a circle of cushioned chairs, behind a privacy screen, Jessica Densmore greets patients inside a Cheshire Medical Center conference room, in Keene.

“Let’s take a listen and see if we can hear this baby today,” she says, positioning a fetal heart monitor.

Today’s mothers, ten in total,  are all between 22 and 29 weeks pregnant. They come once a month, and then every two weeks as due dates approach, for their Centering Pregnancy appointment: basically a group check-up.

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NH News
5:44 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Senate Vote Puts Portion Of N.H. Partnership Health Exchange In Jeopardy

A highly technical bill meant to streamline insurance regulation in the state isn't receiving support in a Senate committee, an action that could block the state's efforts to partner with the Federal government on a new health exchange.

The bill, HB 668, was originally requested by the N.H. Insurance Department to bring state law inline with the Affordable Care Act. Without it, parts of the ACA will be in conflict with current state practice, meaning the Federal government will step in to regulate health insurance plans. Traditionally, the Insurance Department has held that role.

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NH News
6:02 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

A Day After Casino Vote, Senate Rejects Steady Stream Of House Priorities

Senator Nancy Stiles confers with Chuck Morse during a break in the session.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

    

A day after the New Hampshire House voted down a Senate-backed gambling bill, it was the upper chamber’s turn to weigh in on some key House legislation.

And there may have been some tit-for-tat.

The GOP majority quickly snuffed a House bill calling for a $0.20 increase in the tobacco tax.

Republicans did much the same with an effort to reinstitute a state minimum wage, and a bill that would have added $0.12 to the state’s gas tax over three years.

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