Being Thankful-The Gift Of Service

Rich Leonard's Op-Ed on Medicaid Expansion

As a Community Pharmacist for over 35 years I have developed relationships with many people earning trust and respect through professionalism and openness.  Attention to facts and accuracy are fundamental cornerstones of my profession along with an ability to listen carefully and teach with patience.

Recently, Republican Senators voted down legislation that would have accepted $2.5 billion of our own federal dollars to pay for Medicaid expansion in New Hampshire. One of those Senators was Sam Cataldo-District Six, (Rochester, Farmington, New Durham, Alton, Gilmanton and Barnstead). Senator Cataldo supported establishing a bipartisan commission to examine how NH could be affected. After six weeks and hearing public and expert testimony, the commission voted to recommend NH participate in Medicaid Expansion. I repeat…voted to accept and participate.

Being involved in the healthcare field I followed the proceedings with interest, attended a public hearing, and kept an open mind. Honestly, I was listening carefully for any valid argument that would make sense of the Republican Senate caucus’s stand against providing medical care to those living in poverty and not Medicaid eligible. Sam Cataldo voted against the Bill despite his own Special Commissions recommendation. In Sam’s backyard, his home town of Farmington has one of the highest rates of poverty in the area at 14.8%. Senator Cataldo's vote against the interest of his own neighbors will have a real impact. Farmington would have benefited by having a healthier population with regular access to a doctor’s care instead of expensive ER visits. District six could have shared in the health and economic benefits as well, if Sam had voted with common sense and accepted the facts.

The fact is, most of our low-income adults in New Hampshire are not Medicaid eligible. Many of us mistakenly assumed that the poorest of our people already were covered by insurance.  Not so. NH Medicaid does not cover people between the ages of 19-64 unless they are very poor AND ALSO either pregnant, blind, disabled, medically needy, or caring for a child or a disabled person. Eligibility for some in this group only goes up to 49% of the poverty guidelines, not 100%.  We have thousands of uninsured in District Six that live at or below 100% poverty level and they will remain uninsured.  You can thank Senator Sam Cataldo for that.

Know who you are voting for next November, and why. Your choice will be critical to the future of our health, education and economic vitality.

Richard Leonard, RPh

Rich Leonard is a pharmacist working in Alton and the owner-operator of Miller Farm in New Durham. He was the 2012 Democratic nominee for NH Senate District 6, and is currently the chairperson for the New Durham Democrats, and plans to run for the NH Senate District 6 seat again in 2014.

View more from Rich Leonard on his website at

NH Representative, Bob Perry, also has soem thoguhts on Medicaid Expansion.  Read them on his site at 

Affordable Care act Information Session to be Held in Milton

Contact: Susann Foster Brown
603 652 4306 or

Check out health insurance options with real people.

Milton, NH – Find out how the new health care law provides new insurance options for you and your family from 1–3pm at the Emma Ramsey Community Center in Milton. There will be trained assisters providing an overview of the Marketplace, who is eligible, how to enroll, and options for those with limited incomes. The free and friendly event will have options to talk with real people and ask health insurance questions.
If you do not have affordable insurance, or are concerned about losing your insurance in 2014, this event will help you understand what your new options are. Representatives from local organizations: Cognosante, Avis Goodwin, and the State Employees Association of NH will provide a brief presentation and then engage in a question and answer session. Information will be provided on sign-up assistance, including upcoming enrollment fairs and the opportunity to set up in-person and local assistance for enrollment.

What: ACA (Obamacare) Educational Event
Where: Emma Ramsey Community Center, 424 White Mtn Hwy (Rte 125), Milton, NH
When: Sunday, December 8, 2013, 1–3 pm
Who: Open to the public

The session is co-sponsored by the Town Democratic Committees of Milton, Farmington, and New Durham. If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Joe Cicirelli, Certified Application Councilor, State Employees Association, 603-271-3411. X119 or