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
2:24 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

State Republicans Push For More Input As Health Exchange Planning Takes Shape

Insurance Department Deputy Commissioner Alex Feldvebel hands out documents during today's oversight committee meeting.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

With an October 1st deadline looming, the state continues to move forward with implementation of a partnership health exchange.  In agreeing to that partnership, state Republicans say they were promised input on a planning document called a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU.

But last week, the Feds said partner states don’t have to submit an MOU. Republicans say that shuts them out of the legislative process.

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NH News
1:06 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

New London Police Chief Resigns, Lawsuit Still Possible

Former New London Police Chief David Seastrand
Credit Town of New London

The female victim of a New Hampshire police chief’s alleged sexual misconduct is not ruling out a civil suit against the town or officer.

New London Police Chief David Seastrand resigned Thursday. Authorities say on March 6th , he told a Colby-Sawyer College student he would drop an underage drinking charge if she agreed to pose nude for photographs.  

The Attorney General’s office investigated the incident, but agreed to not press charges against Seastrand in exchange for his immediate resignation.

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Health
5:26 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Knee And Hip Replacement Goes Robotic

Dr. Jeremy Hogan demonstrates the robotic MAKOPlasty surgical took inside of Lakes Region General Hospital.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

It’s been two weeks since Bonnie Parker had her hip replaced.

She is 50, petite, a tattoo artist. So she’s no stranger to pain, but says the past few years have been really tough.

“I watched my mother suffer from arthritis, and she sat down one day and never got back up. And I found myself sitting down more and more and not getting up, and I thought, ‘No, I can’t do this.’"

After non-surgical solutions failed to help, Parker spoke with her doctor, and decided to try a new robot-assisted procedure: something called MAKOplasty.

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Around the Nation
4:42 am
Mon April 1, 2013

'Swatting' Calls Put Communities At Risk

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 5:01 am

Law enforcement officers across the country have been responding to a wave of high-profile "swatting" events. The prank involves someone calling 911, detailing a major crime that forces a response by a SWAT team. The emergencies are fake but the hoaxes have serious consequences.

NH News
4:15 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Former House Speaker O'Brien Inches Closer To Congressional Run

Credit NHPR

Representative Bill O’Brien says he will file paperwork next week to launch a campaign committee in advance of a possible run for New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District.

The Mont Vernon Republican says polling he’s done shows widespread dissatisfaction with freshman Democrat Ann McLane Kuster. From overspending in Washington to late payment of her own property taxes in Hopkinton, O'Brien says, "Ann McLane Kuster doesn't get it."

O’Brien says voters in the district are unhappy with Kuster’s positions on taxes and the Federal deficit, and are already seeking change.

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NH News
1:03 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

N.H. House Votes To Repeal 'Stand Your Ground'

On a 189-184 majority, the New Hampshire House has voted to repeal the state’s so-called ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.

The two year old measure allows people to use deadly force anywhere they have a right to be if they feel their lives are in danger.

Previously, people had a duty to retreat to safety if possible before defending themselves with deadly force.

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Health
5:00 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Proposed Change In Dental Care Workforce Losing Steam

Credit Michael Brindley / NHPR

On Thursday, the New Hampshire State Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill that’s getting a lot of attention in the dental community. The measure would expand the role of some hygienists. Advocates say this could help increase access in the state, but dentists argue it’s a misguided solution for a problem that may not exist.

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NH News
5:16 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Number Of Homeless In State Up 6%

More than 2,500 individuals in New Hampshire are homeless, a 6% jump from a year ago. The data comes from a one-night census that took place in January.

Roughly half of the homeless are concentrated in Hillsborough County.

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Health
4:35 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Bill To Ban Medicaid Expansion Voted Down

The New Hampshire House has killed a bill intended to block the state from expanding its Medicaid program.

Opponents of expansion argue that the state can’t afford to grow the health care program for the poor.

But Thomas Sherman, a doctor and Democrat from Rye, told lawmakers the issue is one of social responsibility.

Sherman: “These are New Hampshire people. Our constituents. These are your family, your neighbors, and my patients.”

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NH News
2:34 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

N.H. House Approves Tobacco Tax Hike

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted to increase the state’s tobacco tax by $.20. 

The proposed hike reverses a $.10 cut made in the last legislative session, and adds an extra dime to each pack of cigarettes.

Laurie Sanborn, a Republican from Bedford, says any new revenue from tobacco will hurt businesses along the state’s borders.

“When you raise a tax, you discourage a certain behavior. So with a tobacco tax increase, we are saying, ‘Don’t bother to come to New Hampshire. We don’t want your money.’”

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Health
12:14 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Medicaid Overhaul Plan Hits A Road Block

It’s been three years since state lawmakers began touting managed care as the salvation of Medicaid.

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Health
4:41 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

State Hospitals Making Gains In Fight Against Infection

The number of dangerous infections acquired at hospitals in New Hampshire is falling. A new report shows that there were 110 acquired infections in 2011. That’s a 20% decrease from 2009 levels.

State law mandates that hospitals report infections following certain procedures, including heart, colon and knee surgeries.

Beth Daly, Chief of Infectious Disease Surveillance at the state Health Department, says these are important numbers to track.

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Health
6:11 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Public Calls For Easy, Affordable Health Exchange Experience

A day after the Federal government approved the state’s application for a partnership health exchange, the public had its chance to weigh in on the new insurance marketplaces.

Small business owners, parents and advocates lined up in Concord at an event organized by AARP and NH Voices for Health. Speakers expressed concerns about affordability.

Many called for more transparency.

Another fear is the sheer complexity of shopping for health insurance. Lisa Kaplan Howe with NH Voices hopes the new marketplaces will streamline the process.

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Health
5:19 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

New Hampshire Gets Okay From Feds For Health Exchange Partnership

The Federal government announced today that New Hampshire’s application for a partnership health care exchange has been approved. Exchanges are the new marketplaces where individuals and small businesses will shop for health insurance starting in October of this year. 

The partnership means the N.H. Insurance Department will continue to regulate plans sold in the state. The Federal government will pay for and control the new marketplace website and the '1-800 call center'.

Health
4:59 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Supporters Of Medicaid Expansion Make Their Case To Lawmakers

Due to the large crowd, lawmakers gathered in Representatives Hall to hear from the public .
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

    The public had its chance today to weigh in on the state’s decision regarding Medicaid expansion.

Nearly two dozen people, all in favor of expansion, testified in front of a committee of state lawmakers.

That included Susan Bruce, who lost her husband, and then her health insurance in 2009. Her part-time job offers no coverage.  

Bruce: "It is an odd position to be in. I don’t make enough money to afford to live, really, but I make too much money to qualify for Medicaid as it currently exists."

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