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
4:16 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Money To Implement Portion Of Health Law In N.H. Put On Hold

State lawmakers today put off a key vote on whether to accept Federal funds meant to support a partnership health exchange.

Earlier this month, the Feds awarded the state’s Insurance Department $5.4 million to pay for implementation of the Consumer Assistance portion of the new health exchange marketplace.

But on an 8-2 vote, members of the Joint Fiscal Committee tabled the motion, effectively delaying use of the portion of funds allocated for this fiscal year, roughly $340,000.

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Health
4:48 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Insurance Company Practice Of 'Fail First' Called Into Question

Amanda St-Amour inside her home in Merrimack. "There's only so much I can do as one person versus the health care industry."
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

“I have Crohn’s Disease, I have diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and I had a stroke. From all of this, I am on medication for depression as well.”

Chalk it up to bad genes: Amanda St-Amour struggles with a lot of health conditions.

She’s 30, lives in Merrimack, and pulls out a small laundry basket full of pill bottles.

“Basically, I take about 1, 2, 3…15 pills a morning.”

Recently, one pill has gone missing from the stack. It’s a drug called Trilipix, which St-Amour has taken for years to keep her triglyceride levels down.

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NH News
5:53 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

A Runner, And A Race Volunteer Tell Their Boston Marathon Story

There are so many stories from yesterday's events in Boston--stories of loss and horror, of runners and spectators and first responders and friends.

Here is how Lisa and Ross Ramey saw the events: she as a finish line volunteer, her husband running in his first Boston Marathon, just half a mile from the finish when tragedy struck.

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Health
11:29 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Report: More Than 96,000 In N.H. Eligible For Health Insurance Tax Credits

A report out today estimates that 96,000 New Hampshire residents will be eligible for health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. The credits will be available starting in January, 2014, when the individual mandate kicks in.

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Health
4:05 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Governor Creates Commission To Monitor Medicaid Managed Care Implementation

Governor Maggie Hassan announced today the creation of a new Commission to monitor the transition of the state’s Medicaid program to a managed care model.

The 11-person body includes public health experts, advocates for the disabled, doctors, as well as Donald Shumway, former Commissioner of DHHS, who will co-chair the group along with Mary Vallier-Kaplan.

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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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