Gov'r signs chemo cost reduction

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In July Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) signed a bill that states insurers cannot require higher payments for oral anti-cancer pills than for intravenous chemotherapy.

Oral chemotherapy pills typically fall under a patient’s pharmacy benefit, and they can cost much more than the co-pay for an outpatient chemotherapy appointment.

Bill supporters argue that cancer patients should be able to choose between chemotherapy pills or intravenous chemotherapy based on the merits of the different drugs, not based on costs.

Bill opponents – including many insurance companies – argue that the real issue is pharmaceutical companies’ ability to charge exorbitant prices for new chemotherapy pills. Insurance companies will still have to pay those higher prices, so the bill may cause insurance policy prices to go up for everyone.

The bill signed by Gov. Hassan, HB 508, also dissolves the New Hampshire medical malpractice joint underwriting association.

Do you support HB 508?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Nashua Telegraph.

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Stand up for the LFDA mission!
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The nonpartisan, nonprofit Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) serves New Hampshire citizens by providing objective information about issues and candidates; promoting the civil exchange of opinions in a variety of forums, online and in person; and connecting citizens with their elected officials.

Show your support for our mission: join the LFDA community today! 

Membership is always free, and gives you posting privileges on our website.

Want to learn more about us first?  Visit our About Page to learn about our mission, our Issue pages to learn about hot topics in New Hampshire government, our Voter Resources section to learn about elected officials, or our Member Posts to see what fellow Granite Staters have to say.  And don't forget to like us on Facebook!

NH income inequality a problem?

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According to a recent article in New Hampshire Business Review (NHBR), the Granite State has the fastest growing income inequality in the U.S.

NHBR based that statement on the Gini Index, which measures the distribution of income across a population. The greater the difference between the poorest income and the richest income, the higher the Gini Index. From 2007 to 2013 New Hampshire’s Gini Index grew 5.07%, while the national Gini Index grew just 2.62%.

However, the Gini Index does not reflect the ability of low income individuals to improve their economic status. If an entire population is equally destitute, it will receive a very low Gini Index.

New Hampshire also still has one of the lowest Gini Indexes in the country, indicating relatively low income inequality. A 2014 analysis from Bloomberg ranked each of the 436 U.S. Congressional Districts according to the Gini Index. New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District ranked 354th, and New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District ranked 363rd.

Do you think income inequality is an issue in New Hampshire?  CLICK HERE to post your thoughts on our site.

CLICK HERE to read the NHBR report.

Get to know the Presidential candidates

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With the announcement of Jim Gilmore on July 30, there are now seventeen Republicans and five Democrats in the U.S. Presidential race. Do you know their issue positions? Who is in the lead in New Hampshire? CLICK HERE to view a list of the declared Presidential candidates, including the latest polling and campaign finance data.

Tune into C-SPAN or WMUR at 7pm on Monday, August 3 to see many of the candidates face-off in the Voters First Forum.

Grading NH's democracy

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Two different organizations released reports in July rating New Hampshire's democracy.

First, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a national issue advocacy organization that describes itself as "progressive," graded New Hampshire as follows:

• D+ for "Accessibility" (for example, the availability of online and early voting)
• B+ for "Representation" (for example, the representation of women and minorities in elected positions)
• D+ for "Influence" (for example, campaign donation limits and campaign finance disclosure laws)

New Hampshire ranked 14th overall compared to the other forty-nine states, indicating a relatively healthy democracy in the Granite State.

However, the report may be criticized for giving states good grades for certain policies favored by the Democratic Party.  For example, the report penalized states with strict voter ID laws and rewarded states that allow early voting.

Open Democracy, a New Hampshire organization that aims to "stop the corrupting influence of special interest money in politics," graded the state on 21 measures of democracy.  Here are some of Open Democracy's grades for New Hampshire:

• B for "Voter Registration"
• C for "Gender Representation"
• F for "Minority Representation"
• D for "Out of State PAC Spending"
• F for "Donor Share of Population"

Open Democracy did not compare New Hampshire to any other state, and said, "The purpose of the report is not to compare New Hampshire to other states, many of which earn similarly low or even lower grades, but to establish straightforward and objective measures of democratic health tailored to the Granite State."

Open Democracy's report may face criticism for grading NH on a scale that has no relation to the norms across the U.S.  For example, the report gave NH a "D" for Presidential Primary turnout, but turnout for NH's 2012 Presidential Primary was roughly double the national average.  New Hampshire's poor grade on voter turnout may therefore be viewed as subjective.

Interestingly, the Center for American Progress Action Fund and Open Democracy used almost none of the same measures.  For example, the Center for American Progress Action Fund did not include voter turnout or overall voter registration.  Open Democracy, in turn, did not consider voter ID laws or campaign contribution limits.

How would you grade the health of New Hampshire's democracy?  CLICK HERE to answer the question on our Facebook page.

CLICK HERE to see the full Center for American Progress Action Fund report.

CLICK HERE to see the full Open Democracy report.

Hearings on Pipeline

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is holding public hearings on a proposed natural gas pipeline in southern New Hampshire this week. The Kinder Morgan pipeline would run eighty miles through New Hampshire, if approved.

According to Kinder Morgan’s website, the pipeline "will generally be adjacent to the ROW of an existing utility corridor in New Hampshire, which would minimize the impacts to the environment and landowners." Furthermore, the pipeline "will provide New Hampshire with additional access to lower cost, clean, abundant and domestic natural gas supplies."

Pipeline opponents, on the other hand, argue that the risks of a natural gas leak are too great a threat to New Hampshire’s environment and property owners.

Other opponents argue New Hampshire should look to expand renewable energy instead of natural gas supplies.

Earlier in July the LFDA asked our community about the proposed pipeline. The majority of commenters opposed the pipeline.

"Why would we allow this extensive and dangerous infrastructure project when this is not a renewable energy source?" said one LFDA commenter.

The next public meeting on the pipeline is July 30 at 6:30pm at the Milford Town Hall.

CLICK HERE to read a full report on the LFDA conversation and add your comments.

CLICK HERE to read coverage from the Union Leader.

Gov'r signs chemo cost reduction

Join Our Community

NH income inequality a problem?

Get to know the Presidential candidates

Grading NH's democracy

Hearings on Pipeline

Political Tracker

WMUR poll: Clinton leads by 6 percentage points as Sanders edges closer
WMUR — 8/05/2015
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is chipping away at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s lead in the 2016 New Hampshire primary campaign, WMUR’s latest poll shows.
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Funding for Planned Parenthood on the table
LFDA Virtual Town Hall  — 8/05/2015

The Executive Council will vote Wednesday on whether to renew contracts with several family planning centers, including Planned Parenthood, for another two years.

Read More...


 
John McCain joins Lindsey Graham in New Hampshire
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Issue Tracker
Medicinal Marijuana  
Medicinal Marijuana 

The Merrimack Town Council and Planning Board are reviewing proposed zoning ordinance changes, to be discussed at an upcoming hearing, before allowing the opening and operation of a marijuana dispensary, or alternative treatment center, in the town.
Learn More About the Issue...

Prescription Drug Abuse  
Prescription Drug Abuse 

A state law that went into effect in July allows the state's pharmacy board to release data on prescription numbers to the public, which will help evaluate the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and assist with research, public policy initiatives, and education.
Learn More About the Issue...

Northern Pass  
Northern Pass 

The draft report from the US Department of Energy, released on July 21, said the proposed Northern Pass transmission line project could have a negative impact on tourism, wildlife, and property values, though it would also cost less than other options.
Learn More About the Issue...

In The NH News

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What's going on at the NH State House?

850 New Bills were proposed for NH for 2015 - Are you aware of what these new bills are about?  We've made it easy for you to quickly get up to speed.  View our 2015 Bill Summaries.

 

   

 

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Lynn Wyatt
No People need to learn not to take on more debt than they can handle. Everyone!
Mark Story
Students should be allowed to refinance their loans to current rates. The more money they have in their pockets the more fuel in the economy.
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