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
5:09 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Critics Take Aim At Medicaid Expansion In New Hampshire

Conservative activists are warning lawmakers that an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program would lead to a fiscal crisis in New Hampshire.

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Health
11:38 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Shaheen Continues Push For Health Law Enrollment Extension

Senator Jeanne Shaheen continues to press the Obama administration to extend the enrollment period for those looking to buy coverage through the new health law. In an op-ed in USA Today, Shaheen says consumers shouldn’t be penalized by a failed website roll-0ut.

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Health
10:26 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Divorce On Hold Along With Health Care Website

Among those eagerly waiting on a fix for the troubled health care website are couples wading through divorce proceedings. Health insurance costs have long been a factor in divorce negotiations, but with consumers struggling to calculate and sign-up for coverage through the exchanges, some settlements are now on hold.  Kysa Crusco is a family law attorney based in Bedford. She talked with Morning Edition.

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Health
4:40 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Newborns Facing Withdrawal Symptoms On Rise In State

In 2009, 120 infants exhibited symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), more than double the number of cases from five years prior. NAS is caused by maternal opioid use, and can result in respiratory problems, feeding difficulty and seizures in newborns.

A new report from the N.H. Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services and the N.H. Charitable Foundation says the average hospital stay for an NAS baby is 16 days, compared to three days for other births.

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Health
4:14 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Federal Grant To Market Health Law Again Delayed

A flawed bid process is further delaying efforts to market the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire, as the group in charge of awarding a $2 million contract has decided to reopen its application process.

The New Hampshire Health Plan committee voted 3-2 to award the contract to an unnamed vendor on October 9, but the group, for reasons left unstated in meeting minutes, then decided not to finalize that recommendation.

New Hampshire Health Plan Executive Director Michael Degnan wouldn’t go into detail, but says the committee was divided.

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Health
4:00 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Narrow Network Insurance Plans Could Spark New Regulations

Michael Justice and his wife Chris in front of their Peterborough home.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

When Michael Justice was laid off from a local college last year, he lost a job he liked, a paycheck he needed and an insurance plan he relied on.

At 63, he’s now buying a policy to cover him and his wife. The bill every month is $1,638.

“It’s more than we pay for mortgage, its more than we pay on property taxes, which in New Hampshire is saying a bit,” says Justice. “It’s more than we pay for heating oil, more than we pay for electricity, more than we pay for water.”

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Health
4:42 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Commission Finalizes Plan That Supports Medicaid Expansion In N.H.

Senator Nancy Stiles working with a consultant on the final version of the Medicaid Expansion Commission report.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Brushing up against its October 15th deadline, on Tuesday a special commission studying a possible expansion of Medicaid in New Hampshire finalized its recommendations.

This was the final meeting of a nine-member group that spent the summer debating if and how to expand Medicaid to more low income residents.

While the issue still proves divisive, the commission did find common ground accepting the contents of the final report, voting unanimously to send it to the Governor and legislative leaders.

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All Things Considered
12:33 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Giants Among Us: A Family Fights For Pumpkin Supremacy

David, Matt and Erin Patterson pose with the prize of the patch.
Credit Shaina Gates / NHPR

The Pattersons, Matt and Erin, live off a quiet road in New Ipswich.

Dirt driveway on the left, beige house in the middle, pumpkins on the right.

“So this is it,” says Erin. “This is Lola.”

Lola is the prize of the patch this year. She sits heavy in the garden, bigger than you can get your arms around.

More yellow than orange, the pumpkin is hidden behind a partition of burlap.

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Health
10:06 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Plan Approved By Commission

New Hampshire is one of just a handful of states that hasn’t yet answered the Medicaid expansion question. Remember, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the federal health law last summer, it said Washington could not force states to expand their  Medicaid programs that provides health care to the poor. States, instead, must be given a choice.

And so, for the better part of three months now, a special commission has been studying whether to add 50,000 more low income individuals to the program.

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Health
6:57 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Medicaid Commission To Vote Next Week On Recommendation

Members of the special commission studying whether to expand Medicaid in New Hampshire continue to hash out their differences in the face of a looming deadline.

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Health
3:10 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Lowering Insurance Costs Like 'Turning A Battleship'

N.H. Insurance Department Commissioner Roger Sevigny
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

 Insurance company executives told regulators on Thursday there’s no quick fix for the rising cost of health care in the state.

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Health
5:30 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

N.H. Marketplace Will Have Lower Prices, But Fewer Choices, Than Neighbors

National average does not include Massachusetts, Hawaii, or Kentucky, where rate information isn't yet available.

A new report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services provides a snapshot of premium prices for health plans sold in the new marketplaces. When they launch October 1, individuals will be able to comparison shop for plans in their state's marketplace and apply for subsidies meant to make insurance more affordable.

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Health
5:28 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

No Paul Bunyan, But Health Law Education Efforts Ramp Up In State

The Fuller Public Library in Hillsborough hosts book groups, a story hour for preschoolers, and the occasional knitting workshop.

Also on the calendar this month? An hour-long presentation on the Affordable Care Act.

“Tonight, this is probably going to feel like you are drinking from  a fire hose,” says Kelly Clark, State Director for AARP New Hampshire.

She runs through a slide show for a group of about two dozen residents. It touches on all the main points of the law: the exchanges, the mandates, subsidies, and Medicaid.

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Health
2:50 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Sen. Shaheen Says Health Law Already Having Positive Impact

Senator Shaheen speaking in Concord on Monday. She calls the law "the single biggest advancement for women's health, really, in my lifetime."
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

  At an event organized by the New Hampshire Women’s Health Network and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Senator Shaheen praised the law as the single biggest advancement in women’s health in her lifetime.

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