Freecast S03E03: $36M Hospital Bill and 10 Years of Energy

TomThe Freecast

This week on The Freecast, we discuss the $36M bill the State of NH has due to a hospital lawsuit, no free speech for you in Scotland, and Governor Sununu’s 10 year energy plan.

Featuring Hosts: Matt Carano, Tom Hudson, and Nick Boyle
Engineered by: Matt Carano
Produced by: Tom Hudson, Matt Carano, and Nick Boyle


  • State of NH $36 million in the hole due to hospital lawsuit
    • Under federal law, hospitals that treat significant numbers of Medicaid or uninsured patients may receive “disproportionate share hospital” (DSH) payments – state and federal funds that help them recoup the higher costs associated with those patients. Exactly how much each hospital receives comes down to how many services it can count as “uncompensated care.””
    • Under the current federal law, hospitals can double bill, i.e. if a patient is on medicaid and pays, but still requests money from the state as if they hadn’t paid.
  • Count Dankula (Mark Meechan) loses free speech case, ordered to pay fine
  • Governor Sununu releases 10 year energy plan
    • On average each NH resident spent $3,934 on energy in 2015
    • Goals listed in the plan
      • 1. Prioritize cost-effective energy policies.
      • 2. Ensure a secure, reliable, and resilient energy system.
      • 3. Adopt all-resource energy strategies and minimize government barriers to innovation.
      • 4. Maximize cost-effective energy savings.
      • 5. Achieve environmental protection that is cost-effective and enables economic growth.
      • 6. Government intervention in energy markets should be limited, justifiable, and technology neutral.
      • 7. Encourage market-selection of cost-effective energy resources.
      • 8. Generate in-state economic activity without reliance on permanent subsidization of energy.
      • 9. Maximize the economic lifespan of existing resources while integrating new entrants on a levelized basis.
      • 10. Protect against neighboring states’ policies that socialize costs.
      • 11. Ensure that appropriate energy infrastructure is able to be sited while incorporating input and guidance from stakeholders.
    • Highlights of the plan: Pro nuclear energy, renewable energy should only be considered if it’s cost effective and doesn’t rely on subsidies and only on market selection, “It should not be controversial to seek an ultimate outcome where production technologies are not subsidized by ratepayers or taxpayers. Uneconomic resources would not exist absent subsidization, yet those same resources may be wise investments in the near future when cost curves are more favorable. The end goal with energy infrastructure should be unaided market competition where the technology competes on the merits, not one that depends on taxpayer support.”
    • A quote in regards to passenger vehicles, “Government should avoid speculative investments with taxpayer dollars focused on a fraction of the consumer base, but may be able to leverage non-taxpayer funding sources to spur private investment.”
    • “New Hampshire policymakers should pursue market-based mechanisms for achieving cost-effective energy, while avoiding preferential quotas and mandates.”
    • Much of the energy is dependent on the rest of New England because it’s all under the same grid.
  • Amazon Park in Rochester evacuated due to a standoff
    • My old neighbor owns that park, this is what he told me.
    • Tenants were originally evacuated up to our rec-hall where my office is located. We had a growing group of tenants from 330 until around 6. Then the police officer came in and told everyone they would have to evacuate the park. Tenants said “can we go get our cars,etc” and the police officer literally said “no, those with cars up front leave now, those without cars start walking through the woods and then onto Whitehouse Road and just head towards Briar Ridge”… so here we are with 70 tenants… about 30 of them got out using cars up front, the others just started walking down the street.  I left the park and drove all the way around up to the Dunkin Donuts that is up near Hilltop Chevy. There I met about 15 tenants that had been prevented from returning home from work or afternoon errands. At that point a police officer was discussing with the bus drivers about getting 2 busses to send around to pick up tenants. At this time I also received information that the Briar Ridge center that they had originally told people to start walking to was not open. So it’s 40 degrees out and people are just standing outside in the rain. The bus company gave the police the go ahead that they would be able to have 2 busses go and that they had changed the location to the Rochester Community Center.

      So at that point I told my tenants located at the Dunkin Donuts parking lot to head to the Rochester Community Center and I left with my car to head over to Briar Ridge. When I got over there there was about 20 people standing outside and 5 cars. I told all those with cars to pile as many people into their cars as possible and head over to the Rochester Community Center. I loaded my car with 3 tenants (all I could fit). After this there were still 10 people without a ride. So I told them to walk over to the intersection of Whitehouse Road and wait at the Corner for the bus and I would be back. I proceeded to bring the 3 tenants to the Rochester Community Center. At that point I got a call from my father (who was still at Amazon) that police needed additional help evacuating tenants cause the busses had already left yet there were more tenants coming up from around the park. So myself and another tenant returned to Amazon Park (it’s around 730pm now). Once again filled my vehicle and the other vehicle. My father and one of our employees also filled their vehicle and then we once again drove to the Rochester Community Center. At this point we have about 60-70 people at the Rochester Community Center. I walk in and it’s an empty room with metal. Folding chairs with tenants just sitting. It’s now 8pm. No Red Cross, no food/drinks for people, no blankets. Many of these people have been standing outside in 40 degree weather with rain for hours at this point. Many have had to walk a considerable distance. These people have no access to their medicine or food which they had to leave in their trailer. I was honestly shocked as to why emergency services had not been called in but understood that they were dealing with so much going on with the actual barricade situation. So my father went and bought like 35-40 large “Little Caesar’s” pizzas to feed the tenants. Another tenant let someone borrow their inhaler etc. If my father hadn’t bought food idk if the tenants would have even had dinner that night. A lot of them have diabetic issues etc so they really dropped the ball on that part. Around 830 I left and headed to Qual Drive where I talked with one of the officers about the ongoing developments inside the park and also talked to fosters. At that point officer Danie told me they had another 2 tenants up at Dunkin Donuts that needed to be transported and didn’t know if I could do it. I told him of course and left for Dunkin Donuts where I picked them up. On my drive back to the Rochester Community Center one of my tenants that was sitting on Qual Drive in their vehicle called and told me they heard 12-13 large bangs (8:50 pm). When I got back to the Rochester Community Center pizza had just arrived so I helped pass out the food to the tenants. I returned to Qual Drive from 9:30-11 where I personally heard another 5 large bangs and then I heading back to the Community Center for the remaining hour. A little after midnight (still no blankets provided, no water etc to tenants) we received information that they had gotten the suspect and that we could return residents back to the rec-hall and then they would be released in groups back to their trailers. So they loaded up the 2 busses and I took a tenant and headed back. Got back to Amazon around 12:40pm and tenants were allowed to return to trailers around 1am
  • Marsy’s Law




Special Segment – Autocrat of the Week

  • Rand Paul
  • New Hampshire Democrats on Twitter


NH History

  • NH’s rebellious western towns
    • When & What: Frustrated by the persistent attempts between 1776 and 1781 of a growing number of western New Hampshire towns to either join the newly proposed state of Vermont or form a new, independent Connecticut Valley state with territory on both sides of the river, New Hampshire officials appealed in March 1781 to the Continental Congress for help. With the war not yet over, they begged the assembly for assistance in quelling the unrest, claiming that “it is impossible for [New Hampshire] to comply with the requisitions of Congress . . . while this dispute remains unsettled.” On October 11, Vermont’s legislature gathered in Charlestown on the eastern side of the river, an insult to the New Hampshire government, which claimed that territory as its own. A week later Congress finally resolved to pressure Vermont into returning the 38 rebelling New Hampshire towns and into rescinding its claims to territory east of the Connecticut River as a prerequisite to Vermont’s admission to the Union as the 14th state. When no further action had been taken by January 1782, George Washington, then commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, wrote encouraging Vermont to return the towns to New Hampshire, pointing out that such a boundary encroachment would set an undesirable precedent for the future. The New Hampshire legislature issued a proclamation on January 12 declaring the western towns to be in a state of rebellion, threatening military action, and requiring all persons who had been involved in any way with the controversy to sign a declaration within 40 days acknowledging that New Hampshire extended to the Connecticut River and promising to become good New Hampshire citizens. In February 1782 the Vermont legislature complied and renounced jurisdiction over the rebellious towns. Two years later, Hanover became the last such town to capitulate.
    • WHO The leaders of New Hampshire’s western rebellion were Elisha Payne of Lebanon and John Wheelock and Bezaleel Woodward of Hanover, the son and son-in-law of Dartmouth founder Eleazar Wheelock. They organized the reaction against the new New Hampshire government by gathering together members of the committees of safety of the various Grafton County towns, forming a group known as the United Committees, but more informally as the “college party,” in recognition of the prominent role of Dartmouth in the protest.
    • WHERE The 38 “rebellious” towns were located in western New Hampshire in what were then Grafton and Cheshire counties (the latter including what is now Sullivan County). The Connecticut River runs between these counties and the easternmost regions of what was to become Vermont. The towns in these counties, like those on the western side of the river, were settled mostly by people from Connecticut and Massachusetts rather than from the eastern parts of New Hampshire. All of the towns were beyond the bounds of the original New Hampshire grant to John Mason. The Connecticut River Valley was, and remains to some degree, a distinct cultural region, with close social, economic, religious, and political connections among the people along the length of the river as well as on both sides. By contrast, the Upper Connecticut Valley’s ties with either New Hampshire or New York, the governments that traditionally claimed the territory, were weak.
    • WHY The western part of New Hampshire had been underrepresented in the provincial government, and the first (1776) state constitution did not improve the situation. Unlike in Connecticut where many of the residents of the western towns originated, the new constitution did not allow each town a delegate, basing representation instead solely on population. In fact, the 68 towns in the two western counties shared just 21 representatives. Residents there felt that the new government did not recognize the sovereignty of the town corporation and that it continued to favor seacoast interests. They felt, moreover, that the seat of government should be more centrally located. Almost simultaneously with a growing desire in these towns to free themselves from the New Hampshire government, the towns west of the Connecticut River declared their independence from New York in January 1777, and the new constitution of Vermont guaranteed each town at least one representative. The western New Hampshire leaders, who were generally well-educated, often with Dartmouth connections, considered the Declaration of Independence to have terminated all political associations that originated with the Crown. The towns, which were entities with perpetual charters and thus not dependent on the pleasure of the King, were returned thereby to a “state of nature,” making them free either to form new connections or to remain independent. Due to early settlement patterns, people throughout the Connecticut Valley shared cultural connections despite being geographically divided by the river and despite the King’s determination in 1764 that the Connecticut River was the boundary between New Hampshire and New York. The underlying goal of the rebelling towns was to avoid political separation from the people on the opposite side of the river with whom they shared a common heritage, and their various attempts at merging show that they didn’t care in the end whether they became a part of New Hampshire or Vermont as long as the two sides of the river could remain together.
    • IMPACT The rebellion in western New Hampshire has been called perhaps the most serious of the smaller revolutions that took place within the American Revolution. The settlement of the dispute permanently determined New Hampshire’s western boundary with Vermont, and in 1791 Vermont became the nation’s 14th state. Yet Vermont’s relinquishing of the rebelling towns did not immediately end the decades of tension between the western frontier towns of New Hampshire and the state’s older eastern towns. Although in an attempt at reconciliation, New Hampshire officials gave prominent residents of the Connecticut Valley government positions, several individuals from the rebellious towns interrupted New Hampshire court proceedings at Keene in September 1782 because of the exclusion of Vermont courts. After the leaders of this protest were arrested, rumors circulated that 200 men were arming themselves to oppose the resulting trials. New Hampshire authorities later sought to ease tensions by granting amnesty to the rebellious regions in 1784, under the state’s new constitution. The conflict bred a lasting mistrust, however, between the leaders of Dartmouth College and the rest of the state, perhaps influencing the state’s decision decades later to attempt to bring the college under state control.



Do you have a topic that you would like for us to discuss? A correction and additional piece of information that we may have overlooked, please send it in to While you are here, follow us on Twitter @freecastpodcast and like our Facebook page.