SHAHEEN: HEALTH CARE MUST BE MORE AFFORDABLE FOR FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES

Senator discusses health care reform with patients, doctors at Lamprey Health Care

August 27, 2009

(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen toured Lamprey Health Care in Newmarket today and discussed the need for health care reform with patients and staff from the community health center.

"As more families in New Hampshire lose their health care because of the economic crisis, community health centers will play an even more important role in keeping our state healthy," said Shaheen. "Health care cannot be left up to chance: everyone deserves stable health care coverage they can count on, regardless of the job they hold or the curveballs life may throw their way. We need to ensure that every American has access to affordable, quality health care that they can count on when they need it."

"We're very excited that Senator Shaheen accepted our invitation to join our patients and staff in a discussion about health care reform. Ensuring patient access to quality, affordable healthcare is at the center of the health care debate, and is also the focus of our mission as a community health center," said Ann Peters, executive director of Lamprey Health Care.

Shaheen recently secured millions of dollars in grants for New Hampshire community health centers, including Lamprey Health Care. Across the state, more than 107,000 otherwise under- or uninsured people are served by community health centers with 31 sites in nine of New Hampshire's ten counties. New Hampshire's Community Health Centers employ more than 800 people statewide, often as a major employer in their area, and contribute more than $61 million into their local economies.

Community health centers play a key role in serving uninsured Americans nationwide. One in every 19 people living in the U.S. now relies on a clinic funded by HHS for primary care.

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.  Earlier this month, Shaheen visited Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Elliot Senior Health Center where she discussed how to lower costs and provide better health care with patients, doctors, nurses, and health care administrators.

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