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Jan 27, 2016 12:39 PM

Executive council confirms hiring of new health commissioner

The Associated Press

CONCORD — The Republican-led Executive Council has approved Gov. Maggie Hassan's choice for the next commissioner of the state's health department, voting 4-1 in favor of Jeffrey Meyers' nomination.

GOP councilor David Wheeler was the only councilor to oppose Meyers on Wednesday. Meyers, a former lobbyist and government lawyer, has been serving as acting commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services for several weeks.

The department is the state's largest, running the state's Medicaid program, mental health services and various programs aimed at fighting the substance abuse crisis. Its struggled in recent years to stay within its allocated budget, partially due to increased Medicaid spending.

Hassan says Meyers will play a key role in working to reauthorize Medicaid expansion and strengthening efforts to fight substance abuse.

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