April 06, 2009

(Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today discussed how to achieve comprehensive health care reform by lowering costs and expanding access with New Hampshire health care advocates, providers, and consumers. 


“The rising cost of health care is hurting our families, our small businesses, and is undermining America’s economic strength,” said Senator Shaheen.  “We’ve already taken some positive steps toward addressing health care by expanding health insurance for children and workers who have been laid off, but there’s much more we must do. I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to achieve comprehensive health care reform.  New Hampshire families, small businesses, and our nation’s economy cannot wait any longer to address this critical issue.”


"At Dartmouth-Hitchcock, we are happy to host Senator Shaheen and proud to participate in a roundtable health policy discussion with her,” said Nancy Formella, co-president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.  “As the national debate on health reform heats up, we appreciate the Senator's attention to the key health policy issues of the day.”


Shaheen has worked to expand access to health care throughout her career. As Governor, she initiated New Hampshire’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as Healthy Kids. The program has provided health and dental coverage to tens of thousands of children in the state. As Senator, she supported an expansion of children’s health insurance, voted to expand COBRA health insurance for workers who have lost their jobs during the economic crisis, and she recently participated in President Obama’s Health Care Summit at the White House.


The meeting at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester was attended by health care providers and New Hampshire leaders in health reform.  Shaheen also heard from a small business owner and a nonprofit leader struggling to provide insurance coverage for their employees. 


Senator Shaheen was honored at the meeting by Voices, NH Healthy Kids Corporation, and HNHfoundation for her support of CHIP reauthorization and her longstanding leadership on children's health care issues.


Approximately 47 million Americans have no health insurance, and another 25 million are underinsured and thus vulnerable to a medical emergency. Health-related spending accounts for 16% of the national GDP, and that number is projected to grow to 25% in 15 years if we stay on the same course.

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Alex Reese