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Health Policy

New Futures supports HB 103.

HB 103 supports the opportunity for integrated health delivery to include oral health thereby unlocking the door for the inclusion of oral health and dental services into a Medicaid managed care program. This adds value to our current investment of dollars already being spent for health care through the current Medicaid program. Oral health has been associated with many health diagnoses and conditions, including costly chronic conditions such as heart and lung diseases, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and others including several that are leading causes of death in NH and the nation; acute illnesses such as pneumonia and cancer; and an increased risk of premature births.  Early and effective integrated care can be associated with reducing the related costs that are reflected in our current public and private health expenditures.

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New Futures supports HB 604.

HB 604 is a great step in moving New Hampshire’s public health needle in the right direction. Expanding the state’s vaccine program to include adults will save money while making CDC approved vaccines available to all adults in New Hampshire regardless of insurance type or status. Offering no-cost vaccinations to all adults will help improve racial health disparities for historically marginalized populations and will assist in improving the health and wellness of all Granite Staters now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and into the future.

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New Futures supports SB 104.

SB 104 would add a community health worker (CHW) to each of the state’s thirteen public health networks. CHWs are trusted members of the communities in which they work,

 and they share an unusually close understanding of the communities they serve. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a liaison and intermediary between health, social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of public health service delivery.

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Alcohol & Other Drug Policy

New Futures opposes HB 176.

HB 176 is part of a nationwide trend to loosen alcohol regulations in order to make alcohol more accessible. This policy change would be a monumental shift in New Hampshire's current regulatory system allowing beverages, wine, and mixed drinks to be sold for take out and delivery by restaurants holding an on-premises license..  Policies such as this one, which regulate where and how alcohol is purchased, are in place to protect public health and safety.  According to a September 2020 JAMA Network Open article, alcohol consumption has increased by 14% compared with a year ago, including 17% increase for women. The study also showed a 41% increase in heavy drinking for women. The increasing rate of alcohol use during the COVID-19 pandemic has both immediate negative health risks as well as delayed longer-term risks, such as addiction.

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New Futures opposes HB 237.

HB 237 would fully commercialize the retail sale of marijuana and all high potency marijuana products without essential public health protections necessary for the health of our youth and communities. Youth marijuana use, when young brains are developing, can have long-term negative health effects and can increase the risk for substance misuse later in life. The commercialization of marijuana raises complex public health and safety concerns for our state. New Futures opposes HB 237, because it does not offer a responsible regulatory model for retail sales of marijuana.

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New Futures supports SB 62 but will also advocate to include menthol

SB 62 would prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and e-cigarette cartridges with an exception for menthol and requires the Department of Environmental Services to make rules relative to the disposal of such e-cigarettes. New Futures supports SB62 and efforts to reduce youth use of these dangerous products but will also advocate to include menthol cigarettes because of the tobacco industry’s history of targeting minorities and youth with menthol cigarette marketing.

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Early Childhood Policy

New Futures supports SB 140.

SB 140  would make an appropriation to the department of health and human services for primary prevention services for families.   This bill aims to support vital primary prevention programming in New Hampshire

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New Futures supports SB 144.

SB 144 would provide that the department of health and human services shall provide enrollment-based reimbursement to child care providers who participate in the child care scholarship program.

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Access to Treatment Policy

New Futures Supports HB 578.

HB 578 would help move New Hampshire forward in establishing a statewide system of mental health courts, similar to the state’s drug court programs.  In the absence of national standards, this bill authorizes the New Hampshire court system to develop standards for court programs across the state serving individuals who become involved with the justice system due to mental illness.  Mental health courts have been shown to increase access to critical behavioral health services and save taxpayers dollars by reducing incarceration.

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New Futures opposes HB 602.

HB 602 would limit access to telehealth services for thousands of Granite Staters, including many facing behavioral health issues.  As proposed, the bill would prevent patients from accessing telehealth services over the phone, and limit telehealth to video-conferencing only, which can be a challenge for many who individuals and communities without strong internet access. Further, the bill proposes to do away with the requirement that telehealth services be reimbursed at the same rates as in-person care, which could restrict support for health care providers who offer telehealth services. 

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New Futures supports SB 59.

SB 59 would increase access to behavioral health care by supporting and expanding the so-called Collaborative Care Model.  This bill proposes to allow primary care providers to bill commercial insurance for services provided through the Collaborative Care Model.  The model, which teams together a primary care provider, care manager and psychiatric consultant to develop a treatment plan and track a patient’s progress, has been shown to eliminate barriers to care, improve clinical outcomes and reduce treatment costs.

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