Glenn Brackett and Andrew Cline: Saving taxpayers millions of dollars is an issue that should unite all of us

IN THIS TIME of extreme political polarization, there aren’t a lot of issues that can unite all of us. Saving taxpayers and state employees tens of millions of dollars simply by modernizing a single contracting process, though, ought to be one.
As leaders of two organizations that have been on opposite ends of numerous debates over the years — a labor union and a free-market think tank — we have had plenty of policy disagreements.
However, this summer we put our political and ideological differences aside and supported a proposal to fundamentally change the way New Hampshire purchases prescription drugs. This one change will collectively save Granite Staters tens of millions of dollars.
Simply put, it would be one of the most significant health policy advancements in more than a decade.
Like most states, New Hampshire relies on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), companies that negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers and sell prescription medicines to health plans and pharmacies. They promise value and savings to state purchasers, taxpaying citizens and consumers at the pharmacy counter.
However, PBMs operate within a needlessly complex system that reduces the transparency of prescription drug prices. This past July, Gov. Chris Sununu and legislators passed a bill (HB 1280) that addresses this problem and promises huge savings for taxpayers and public employees.
The law directs the state to conduct an eBay-style dynamic reverse auction for PBMs vying to win the state’s business. Under traditional bidding, different PBM proposals used different complex formulas, making it impossible to do accurate comparisons.
This new reverse auction method uses a 21st-century online bidding system that gives the state more control over the bids. Finally, it’s possible to make “apples to apples” comparisons of PBM bids on the basis of their value. The system then uses multiple rounds of bidding, through which PBMs vie actively to underbid one another.
In our New Hampshire solution, PBMs will bid to fulfill contract terms determined by the state, not by the PBMs. This change puts control of these contracts, which total hundreds of millions of dollars, back in the state’s hands. A Josiah Bartlett Center study this year found that taxpayers can save up to $22 million per year over a three-year period.
The state’s new law achieves three critically important goals.
First, it helps address budget shortfalls at a time when we need bipartisan, fiscally responsible solutions. The state potentially could close a large portion of any pandemic-induced budget gap just by rebidding its PBM contract, avoiding budget cuts elsewhere.
Using this online reverse auction to procure a new PBM contract can redirect millions of taxpayer dollars in excess prescription drug spending back to our state budget, where such savings will be sorely needed next year.
In addition, the savings will provide relief at the pharmacy counter for Granite State patients in the midst of a pandemic, where taxpayers and consumers will see a reduction in their out-of-pocket costs.
Second, this change replaces an outdated PBM selection process with a 21st-century approach to PBM contracting that harnesses the power of built-in market incentives to drive down prescription drug costs.
Third, our new law will deploy this leading-edge data analytics technology to perform rapid electronic audits of prescription drug invoices that PBMs present to the state every two weeks.
This kind of ongoing, technology-enabled bill review (in use by many of the most successful businesses in the country) will enable New Hampshire government to monitor public dollars transferred to PBMs before they are spent, assuring that taxpayers are not being overcharged.
By using a similar state-of-the-art PBM bill review system, the state of New Jersey recently captured $42 million in PBM overcharges in a single year that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
That’s exactly what a good government should do.
Our state is replacing the old public-sector paradigm of “pay now and audit later” with a more efficient, modern system that will do what New Hampshire often does — set a strong fiscal example for the rest of the nation.
At a time when we desperately need it, our state’s elected leaders have brought us a bipartisan health care solution that can help families pay lower prices at the pharmacy counter and preclude the need to make potentially painful budget decisions.
Given that it’s a plan so strong that it can bring two longtime ideological rivals like us together in support, the state should waste no time putting it into action. We are heartened that the state has begun the process of choosing a technology vendor to implement a reverse auction and encourage continued forward momentum to bring about these important savings.
Glenn Brackett of Northwood is president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. Andrew Cline of Bedford is president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy.

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ICYMI: Our 2020 Linda Horan Scholarship Award Recipients

The Linda Horan Scholarship Awards

The NH AFL-CIO named our Scholarship Fund after IBEW Sister Linda Horan who lost her battle with cancer in 2016 . She was a true warrior for Labor and the Scholarship program was very important to her. She ALWAYS believed in leaving the ladder down to help young people rise up!

Each year  we invite affiliate members and their families to apply for a scholarship award by writing an essay on a topic we select.

With 2020 forcing us to face triple crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic inequality (exacerbated by the pandemic), and a serious need to address racial injustice in our country, we decided that the importance of our elections had reached a new level and that our topic should be related to our election process. We selected the following essay topic:

Since voting is so important, what do you think should be done to ensure every citizen can exercise his or her right to vote in Nov. 2020 without endangering their lives? Are there better solutions than in-person voting, and voting on election day only? If voting is not done in person, how do we account for election security and making sure that our votes are counted? How can we make sure that the voices of working people are heard in this election?

Essays were judged on understanding, writing style, and significance to Labor Unions. Applicants were encouraged to draw on the experiences of their families and communities.

With many excellent and  thoughtful essays, selecting winners was difficult. Congratulations to winners of the 2020-2021 awards.

1st Christine St. Peter $ 1,500.00 Michael St. Peter/IBEW # 2320 University NH Junior
2nd Alysse Cleasby $1,000.00 Brian Cleasby/AFGE Local #948 Bates College Freshman
3rd Tara Fitzpatrick $ 750.00 Brian Fitzpatrick/APWU Local #230 Lehigh University Senior
4th Olivia Montine $500.00 Kimberly Montine/AFT #1044 Seton Hall University Senior
5th Timothy Holmes $500.00 Kathryn Holmes/AFT #1044 Saint Anselm College Senior

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Our Endorsed 2020 Candidates for US Senate, House, Governor, NH Senate, and Executive Council.

Brothers & Sisters,

Please find below a list of our endorsed candidates for the US Senate, Governor of New Hampshire, and New Hampshire Senate and Executive Council in the 2020 election. Please circulate widely and let us know if we can help you get the word out on these endorsements.

U.S. Senate – Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

Governor of New Hampshire – Dan Feltes

Member of Congress Dist.1 – Rep. Chris Pappas

Member of Congress Dist. 2 – Rep. Annie Kuster

Our New Hampshire Senate Candidates

1: Rep. Sue Ford 

2: Selectman Bill Bolton 

3: Theresa Swanick 

4: Sen. David Watters 

5: Councilor Suzanne Prentiss 

6: Councilor Chris Rice

7: Hon. Phil Spagnuolo  

8: Jenn Alford-Teaster 

9: Sen. Jeanne Dietsch 

10: Sen. Jay Kahn 

11: Sen. Shannon Chandley 

12: Sen. Melanie Levesque 

13: Sen. Cindy Rosenwald 

14: Nancy Hendricks 

15. Becky Whitley

16: Sen. Kevin Cavanaugh 

17: Nancy R.B. Fraher

18: Sen. Pres. Donna Soucy 

19: Councilor Joshua Bourdon

20: Sen. Lou D’Allesandro

21. Rebecca Perkins Kwoka 

22: Tom Haynes 

23: Sen. Jon Morgan

24: Sen. Tom Sherman

Our Executive Council Candidates 

District 1: Mike Cryans 

District 2: Cinde Warmington 

District 3: Mindi Messmer

District 4: Mark Mackenzie

District 5: Deb Pignatelli 

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ATTN NH Unions: Help us Contact other Labor families!

Brothers & Sisters:

This year’s election presents a stark choice for the New Hampshire labor community – a presidential campaign that pits Vice-President Joe Biden and his proven record of support for organized labor and Donald Trump, the most anti-working families president of our lifetimes. With the stakes as high as they are, the New Hampshire AFL-CIO has planned an aggressive fall campaign. And we are asking you to do your part.

As leadership for your local we are asking that you send us either the number of volunteers you have who are willing to volunteer or send around our sign up form at

If your members are planning to phonebank:

Once we know who or how many folks will be volunteering from your local, we will send you/your member a login, pin, password and code to enter a phone bank to our LAN account ( This will allow your members who have committed to volunteer phonebank for the NH AFL-CIO.

We have phone banks currently scheduled from 5-8PM Tuesday through Thursday. We can certainly be flexible with folks if they wish to commit to a different time slot, our team is happy to help and answer any questions you have. At 5PM for the next couple weeks or as needed, we will offer a zoom training to any new phone bankers, and will send a link to committed volunteers in addition to the listed information above.

Please make every effort to engage your members in this crucial election. We might not have another chance to defend our rights as union members if we don’t make the effort now.

In Solidarity:

President Glenn Brackett

New Hampshire AFL-CIO

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Congratulations to our 2020 Endorsed House Candidates!

Below is a complete list of our endorsed 2020 House candidates.

1 Belknap Robert Joseph Jr Democrat

2 Belknap Diane Hanley Democrat

2 Belknap Natalie Taylor Democrat

2 Belknap Dara McCue Democrat

3 Belknap Carlos Cardona Democrat

3 Belknap Gail Ober Democrat

5 Belknap Stephen Larimer Copithorne Democrat

5 Belknap Duane Hammond Democrat

6 Belknap Douglas Trottier Democrat

6 Belknap Don House Democrat

9 Belknap Charlie St. Clair Democrat

1 Carroll Anita Burroughs Democrat

2 Carroll Stephen Woodcock Democrat

2 Carroll Tom Buco Democrat

3 Carroll Jerry Knirk Democrat

4 Carroll Caroline Nesbitt Democrat

8 Carroll Eve Klotz Democrat

1 Cheshire Lucy Weber Democrat

1 Cheshire Michael Abbott Democrat

1 Cheshire Paul Berch Democrat

1 Cheshire Catharyn Harvey Democrat

2 Cheshire John Mann Democrat

3 Cheshire Daniel Eaton Democrat

4 Cheshire Lawrence Welkowitz Democrat

5 Cheshire John Bordenet Democrat

9 Cheshire Douglas Ley Democrat

9 Cheshire Richard M. Abel Ames Democrat

10 Cheshire Lucius Parshall Democrat

11 Cheshire Patricia Ann Martin Democrat

12 Cheshire Barry Faulkner Democrat

15 Cheshire Bruce Tatro Democrat

16 Cheshire Joe Shapiro Democrat

3 Coos Larry Laflamme Democrat

3 Coos Henry Noel Democrat

4 Coos Evalyn Merrick Democrat

5 Coos Edith Tucker Democrat

7 Coos Troy Merner Republican

2 Grafton Timothy Egan Democrat

3 Grafton Denny Ruprecht Democrat

6 Grafton Kevin Maes Democrat

8 Grafton Suzanne Smith Democrat

8 Grafton Joyce Weston Democrat

10 Grafton Roger Dontonville Democrat

11 Grafton Timothy Josephson Democrat

12 Grafton Russell Muirhead Democrat

13 Grafton George Sykes Democrat

13 Grafton Richard Abel Democrat

13 Grafton Laurel Stavis Democrat

13 Grafton Susany Almy Democrat

14 Grafton Elaine French Democrat

15 Grafton Ed Rajsteter Democrat

16 Grafton Francesca Diggs Democrat

17 Grafton Joshua Adjutant Democrat

1 Hillsborough Marjorie Porter Democrat

2 Hillsborough Rachel Cisto Democrat

2 Hillsborough Jen Paveglio Democrat

4 Hillsborough Jennifer Bernet Democrat

4 Hillsborough Kermit Williams Democrat

5 Hillsborough Donna Mombourquette Democrat

5 Hillsborough David Woodbury Democrat

6 Hillsborough Jonathan West Democrat

6 Hillsborough Judi Lanza Democrat

7 Hillsborough Daniel Dong Democrat

8 Hillsborough Jeff Goley Democrat

8 Hillsborough Diane Langley Democrat

9 Hillsborough Iz Piedra Democrat

9 Linda Di Silvestro Democrat

10 Hillsborough Patrick Long Democrat

10 Hillsborough Ron Shaw Democrat

11 Hillsborough Donald Bouchard Democrat

11 Hillsborough Nicole Klein Knight Democrat

12 Hillsborough Andrew Bouldin Democrat

12 Hillsborough Amanda Bouldin Democrat

14 Hillsborough Mary Heath Democrat

14 Hillsborough Brian Cole Democrat

15 Hillsborough Erika Connors Democrat

15 Hillsborough Thomas Katsiantonis Democrat

16 Hillsborough Joshua Query Democrat

17 Hillsborough Heidi Hamer Democrat

17 Hillsborough Timothy Smith Democrat

18 Hillsborough Patricia Cornell Democrat

19 Hillsborough Kendall Snow Democrat

19 Hillsborough William Zackeroff Democrat

20 Hillsborough Nikki Fordey Democrat

21 Hillsborough Wendy Thomas Democrat

21 Hillsborough Kathryn Stack Democrat

21 Hillsborough Bryce Stack Democrat

21 Hillsborough Cindy Parente Democrat

23 Hillsborough Peter Petrigno Democrat

23 Hillsborough Alexander Lloyd Democrat

23 Hillsborough Maria Perez Democrat

24 Hillsborough Peter Leishman Democrat

25 Hillsborough Laura Lynch Democrat

26 Hillsborough Christopher Wheeler Democrat

27 Hillsborough Kat McGhee Democrat

28 Hillsborough William Bordy Democrat

28 Hillsborough Jan Schmidt Democrat

28 Hillsborough Bruce Cohen Democrat

30 Hillsborough Sherry Dutzy Democrat

30 Hillsborough Suzanne Vail Democrat

30 Hillsborough Patricia Klee Democrat

31 Hillsborough Manny Espitia Democrat

31 Hillsborough David Cote Democrat

32 Hillsborough Dan Toomey Democrat

32 Hillsborough Allison Nutting-Wong Democrat

32 Hillsborough Michael Pederson Democrat

33 Hillsborough Frances Nutter-Upham Democrat

33 Hillsborough Efstathia Booras Democrat

34 Hillsborough Catherine Sofikitis Democrat

34 Hillsborough Deb Stevens Democrat

34 Hillsborough Melbourne Moran Jr Democrat

35 Hillsborough Laura Telerski Democrat

35 Hillsborough Latha Mangipudi Democrat

35 Hillsborough Skip Cleaver Democrat

36 Hillsborough Michael O’Brien Sr Democrat

36 Hillsborough Linda Harriott-Gathright Democrat

37 Hillsborough Steven Katsos Democrat

37 Hillsborough Robert Sherman Democrat

37 Hillsborough David Hennessey Democrat

37 Hillsborough Barbara Blue Democrat

38 Hillsborough Jim Bosman Democrat

39 Hillsborough Gary Evans Democrat

42 Hillsborough Matt Wilhelm Democrat

43 Hillsborough Amy Bradley Democrat

44 Hillsborough Candace Moulton Democrat

45 Hillsborough Constance Van Houten Democrat

45 Hillsborough Jane Beaulieu Democrat

1 Merrimack Ken Wells Democrat

3 Merrimack Joyce May Fulweiler Democrat

4 Merrimack Tom Schamberg Democrat

6 Merrimack Roderick Pimentel Democrat

6 Merrimack Tony Caplan Democrat

9 Merrimack Lois Friedrich Democrat

9 Merrimack Leslie Bergevin Democrat

10 Merrimack Mel Myler Democrat

10 Merrimack David Luneau Democrat

10 Merrimack Mary Jane Wallner Democrat

11 Merrimack Steve Shurtleff Democrat

12 Merrimack Connie Boyles Boyles Lane Democrat

14 Merrimack Jim MacKay Democrat

15 Merrimack Eric Gallager Democrat

16 Merrimack Timothy Soucy Democrat

17 Merrimack Safiya Wazir Democrat

17 Merrimack Dennis Soucy Democrat

18 Merrimack Kris Schultz Democrat

19 Merrimack Christy Dolat Bartlett Democrat

20 Merrimack David Doherty Democrat

20 Merrimack Diane Schuett Democrat

21 Merrimack Hugh Curley Democrat

23 Merrimack Mary Beth Walz Democrat

23 Merrimack Gary Woods Democrat

24 Merrimack Kathleen Martins Democrat

24 Merrimack Harry Kozlowski Democrat

26 Merrimack Lorrie Carey Democrat

27 Merrimack Art Ellison Democrat

27 Merrimack Rebecca McWilliams Democrat

28 Merrimack Katherine Rogers Democrat

29 Merrimack Miriam Cahill-Yeaton Democrat

3 Rockingham Michael DiTommaso Democrat

4 Rockingham The Rev Jane Van Zandt Democrat

4 Rockingham Russell Norman Democrat

4 Rockingham Matthew Krohn Democrat

5 Rockingham Anne Warner Democrat

5 Rockingham Luisa Piette Democrat

5 Rockingham Ted Combes Democrat

5 Rockingham Robin Skudlarek Democrat

6 Rockingham Michelle Sawyer Moge Democrat

7 Rockingham Valerie Roman Democrat

8 Rockingham Cam Iannalfo Democrat

8 Rockingham Maureen Thibault Democrat

8 Rockingham Bonnie Wright Democrat​ 

8 Rockingham Sara Dillingham Democrat

8 Rockingham Greg Davis Democrat

8 Rockingham Donna Loranger Democrat

9 Rockingham Gregory Tillman Democrat

9 Rockingham Mark Vallone Democrat

10 Rockingham Ellen Douglas Democrat

11 Rockingham Liz McConnell Democrat

13 Rockingham Trish Tidd, OD Democrat

14 Rockingham George Wesley Hamblen Democrat

17 Rockingham Charlotte DiLorenzo Democrat

17 Rockingham Ellen Read Democrat

18 Rockingham Lisa Bunker Democrat

18 Rockingham Mark Paige Democrat

19 Rockingham Debra Altschiller Democrat

21 Rockingham Robert Renny Cushing Democrat

21 Rockingham Mike Edgar Democrat

22 Rockingham Jim Maggiore Democrat

23 Rockingham Dennis Malloy Democrat

24 Rockingham Kate Murray Democrat

25 Rockingham Laura Pantelaskos Democrat

26 Rockingham Rebecca Susan McBeath Democrat

27 Rockingham Peter Somssich Democrat

28 Rockingham Gerald Ward Democrat

29 Rockingham David Meuse Democrat

30 Rockingham Jacqueline Cali-Pitts Democrat

31 Rockingham Joan Livingston Hamblet Democrat

32 Rockingham Hal Rafter Democrat

36 Rockingham Alexis Simpson Democrat

2 Strafford Emmanuel Krasner Democrat

3 Strafford Heath Howard Democrat

4 Strafford Matthew Towne Democrat

4 Strafford Cassandra Levesque Democrat

6 Strafford Timothy Horrigan Democrat

6 Strafford Marjorie Smith Democrat

7 Strafford Timothy Fontneau Democrat

11 Strafford Chuck Grassie Democrat

13 Strafford Casey Conley Democrat

15 Strafford Ariel Oxaal Democrat

16 Strafford Sherry Frost Democrat

17 Strafford Peter Bixby Democrat

18 Strafford Wendy Chase Democrat

18 Strafford Gerri Cannon Democrat

18 Strafford Cecilia Rich Democrat

19 Strafford Peter Schmidt Democrat

20 Strafford Thomas Southworth Democrat

21 Strafford Catheryn Sandler Democrat

22 Strafford Peg Higgins Democrat

23 Strafford Sandra Keans Democrat

24 Strafford Jeremiah John Minihan Democrat

1 Sullivan Brian Sullivan Democrat

1 Sullivan Lee Oxenham Democrat

5 Sullivan Liza Draper Democrat

7 Sullivan Claudia Istel Democrat

9 Sullivan Linda Tanner Democrat

10 Sullivan John Cloutier Democrat

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The NH AFL-CIO endorses Plymouth Selectman Bill Bolton for Senate

The longtime public health official and current chair of the Plymouth Selectman Bill Bolton is a former member of SEA/SEIU 1984.

(Hooksett, NH – September 7th, 2020) The New Hampshire AFL-CIO announced today the endorsement of Plymouth Selectman Bill Bolton for the New Hampshire Senate in District 2.

“The AFL-CIO recognizes candidates that support working families, collective bargaining, a safe workspace and equitable wages. We see that in Bill Bolton, a former SEA/SEIU member, and are proud to endorse him for the NH Senate in District 2,” New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett said.”His thirty year record effectively managing taxpayer money in public health in New Hampshire means that he’ll immediately be a voice for safe workplaces during the current pandemic and beyond.”

Bolton, a seven-year veteran of the Plymouth Select Board, spent his 30-year professional career working for the citizens of New Hampshire in public health. Starting his career as a Lab Scientist and Assistant Director of the Public Health Laboratories, he later served as the Chief of staff for the NH Certificate of Need Board, and State Registrar and Director of the Division of Vital Records Administration under the Secretary of State. He is also Chair of the Pemigewasset River Local Advisory Committee, and has served on Plymouth’s Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Energy Commission, and School Board. He has also served on the Boards of several nonprofit organizations such as the Lakes Region Planning Commission, Lakes Region Mental Health Center, Keep The Heat On (Plymouth Area Community Closet), and as Producer of the Educational Theatre Collaborative.

“As a former member of a union, I know how much they fight for their membership and for workers’ rights. I am incredibly grateful to have this endorsement,” Bolton said. “Thank you AFL-CIO for endorsing me in my campaign for NH Senate District 2!”

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NH AFL-CIO endorses Derry Town Counilor Josh Bourdon for Senate

The veteran councilor has spent the last six years serving Derry and hopes to represent Derry, Hampstead, and Windham in NH Senate.

(Hooksett, NH – September 7th, 2020) The New Hampshire AFL-CIO announced today the endorsement of Derry Town Counilor Josh Bourdon for the New Hampshire Senate in District 19.

“Josh’s work on the Derry Town Council and his volunteer work in the community has made clear that he’s focused on helping working families by any means available to him,” said New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett. “His management of taxpayer money while assuring public safety in Derry demonstrates that he’ll be a capable leader in the New Hampshire Senate.”

Since joining the Derry’s Select Board in 2014, Bourdon has worked to increase funding for public safety and helped negotiate and resolve disputed labor contracts. He worked to create the Net Zero Task Force all while giving back and helping people in need. Over the past six years, Bourdon and his wife Leah have supported the Soup Kitchen, homeless Veteran population, low income families, the Derry Friendship Center, and Cancer research.

“I am honored to have the support of the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO represents what is best about New Hampshire,” Bourdon said. “They always work hard and have not let up, even in the middle of a pandemic. Working families can trust that I will always listen and advocate for them.”


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