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At Elliot Senior Health Center in Manchester, Shaheen answers patient questions on health care reform, Medicare

(Manchester, NH) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen visited the Elliot Senior Health Center in Manchester today where she discussed health care reform with health care providers and patients.  Shaheen toured the facility and then answered questions on many aspects of health care reform, including how health care reform will affect Medicare, the public option, the cost of health care reform in terms of the deficit, and medical malpractice. 

"Health care reform is a very challenging and very personal issue for everyone, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to hear directly from New Hampshire seniors and Medicare beneficiaries about their current health plans and what they would like to see improved," said Shaheen.  "The health care plan we are working on in Congress will let people keep their doctor and their insurance plan if they like it, expand coverage options for people that need it, and stabilize costs for families, businesses and our economy.  I look forward to continuing the effort and to achieve comprehensive health care reform that works for all Americans."

At the Elliot Senior Health Center today, Shaheen toured the facility and learned more about the TRACE Program, which helps patients with the transition from hospital to home care.  In June, Shaheen and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced bipartisan legislation, the Medicare Transitional Care Act, which would help ensure that appropriate follow-up care is provided for seniors who are discharged from a hospital, thus preventing unnecessary re-hospitalization.  A New England Journal of Medicine study conducted earlier this year found that almost one-third of Medicare patients who were discharged from a hospital were re-hospitalized within 90 days largely due to lack of follow-up care, unnecessarily driving-up health care costs by billions of dollars each year. 

"As we work to achieve comprehensive health care reform, we need to look for commonsense fixes to some of our nation's most costly problems," added Shaheen.  "The Medicare Transitional Care Act would help make sure the transition from hospital to home care is managed appropriately, which would improve the quality of care for our seniors and reduce our nation's health care costs.  The Elliot Senior Health Center is leading by example with their impressive TRACE Program, and I hope we can work to make sure that programs like this are developed across New Hampshire and throughout the country."

Since taking office, Shaheen has received over 14,000 letters or phone calls from people in New Hampshire on the topic of health care reform.  Earlier this month, she held a health care telephone town hall where over 15,000 callers joined the health care discussion.  Last week Shaheen visited Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center where she discussed how to lower costs and provide better health care with patients, doctors, nurses, and health administrators.