Hudson - Litchfield News 2 - March 11, 2011
Hudson Chamber Hosts Health Care Forum Overview
will be phased in over the next 10 years and will affect 47 million uninsured people in the U.S. Under the provisions of the Health Care Reform, health insurance will be provided for 32 million of that 47 million. The main elements of the Health Care Reform
Greater Hudson business owners and community leaders attend the Health Care Reform Overview, hosted by the Hudson Chamber and Southern New Hampshire Health System
by Doug Robinson The Hudson Chamber of Commerce recently partnered with Southern New Hampshire Regional Hospital and hosted a “Health Care Today” forum. Business owners and community leaders attended the meeting with hope of becoming better educated to the constantly changing laws regarding health care. “Health Care Today,” a presentation by Southern New Hampshire Health System, explores the elements of the new health care reform law and what it means for the members of the greater Nashua community. Health Care Reform affects everyone and the more consumers know about its many provisions, the better decisions they can make. Speakers will cover the legislation and the reform timeline through 2020, changes in insurance coverage, and the Accountable Care Organization pilots. They will also address the effects this will have on the hospitals and the new ways that consumers may want to think
about their healthcare, according to the Hudson Chamber. The fact-based summary provided the attendees a forum absent of any political agenda, how ‘reform’ may impact your health care, the efforts underway now to redesign health care, as well as receive community feedback. The speakers from Southern New Hampshire Medical Center gave a brief history of health care, and referred to the “roots” of health care going back to 1847. Once known as ‘accident insurance,’ it was intended to cover lost wages, not the cost of health care, as health care costs were minimal at that time. Today, health care premiums have been driven
up by payments from commercial insurance providers to offset payments from “new technology and increased testing. We are also seeing increases in the numbers of uninsured or underinsured. The result is higher cost and cost shifting, the speakers said.
Cost shifting uses the o e
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payments from commercial insurance providers to offset the payments from Medicaid and Medicare to fail to cover the entire cost of services. The current reform
underway both nationally and within the state of New Hampshire break down into coverage mandates, payment reforms, as well as new taxes. The 2,200 pages of legislation
involve payment reforms, coverage expansion, and new taxes. The cost of the reforms is estimated at $938 billion. “The total cost is projected to be $938 billion, funded with $455 billion in net Medicare/Medicaid reductions and $438 billion in tax increase,” stated Mike Rose, Senior Vice President for Finance SHHS. The reform timeline was broken out into three segments: 2011-2013, 2014-2017, and 2018- 2020. During the first segment, the lifetime benefit cap would be banned, dependent coverage would be extended to age 26, no longer any pre-existing conditions, and health plans would now provide coverage for preventive services for both men and women. During the second phase, 2014-2017, coverage expansion move up for Medicaid to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty level, employers with 50 or more employees that do not offer insurance will cost the employer $2,000 per employee, and companies with 200 or more employees must be enrolled into an offered health insurance plan, of which the employee could opt out. During this transition time, “insurers will be busy trying to get ahead of reforms the will take effect 2014. You can expect that insurers will become aggressive with medical policy underwriting,” continued Rose. “Large employers will continue to manage their health care costs through benefit trimming and cost sharing with employees. More aggressive employers will push their insurance carriers and providers on shared risk. Others will consider work site care solutions and virtual care models to manage the health of their employees. Small employers will continue to decrease coverage opportunities for employees as they face premium inflations.” Hospitals, too, will be seeing this as a
transitional time. “Forward-thinking health systems will innovate and build on the competencies that will be necessary in a budget-driven and increasing regulated market. Incentives will need to be aligned with outcomes, redundant care, avoidable doctor visits, poorly coordinated patient care, and cost reduction created by limited hospital stays are coming under more and more scrutiny,” said Rose. Southern NH Health System has created the blog, http://healthreformtalk.org/about/
, in an effort to encourage discussion, commentary, and questions. Links to other Websites have been posted as a service to assist those with questions and concerns.
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Are You the Oldest Person in Hudson?
submitted by Lynne Mari The Hudson Historical Society is looking for a Hudson resident in their 90s (or older!) to receive the “Boston Post Cane.” The recipient must have been residing in Hudson for at least 20 years. The Boston Post was the most popular daily newspaper in New England for over a 100 years until it stopped publishing in 1956. In August 1909, Edwin A. Grozier, Publisher
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of the Boston Post, forwarded to the Board of Selectmen in 700 towns (no cities included) in New England a gold-headed ebony cane with the request that it be presented with the compliments of the Boston Post to the oldest citizen of the town, to be used by him as long as he/she lives (or moves from the town). When the recipient dies, the cane is to be handed down to the next oldest citizen of the town. The cane would belong to the town and not the person who received it. The Hudson Boston Post Cane has been retired to the Historical Society. Recipients of Hudson’s Boston Post Cane are honored with a certificate and a pin, which contains a replica of the original cane. If you know of anyone in Hudson that meets the criteria, call Hills House at 880-2020 and leave a message with the person’s name and birth date, or e-mail us at HudsonHistorical@live.com
or by U.S. mail at PO Box 475, Hudson, NH 03051, and we will be in touch with you.
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Chairman Massey Steps Down and Away from Public Service
by Doug Robinson As written in the June 2010 Annual Report for
the Town of Hudson, Chairman Massey penned, “On a personal note, I have chosen to step down on March 8, 2011, as one of your Selectmen. I am a firm believer in term-limits and am ‘walking the talk.’ Thank you for giving me the privilege of serving you for the past 8 years. Thanks to my fellow Board members for making my tenure one that I shall always remember. Together, we accomplished much. Donna, Linda and Priscilla, thank you for all your support. Thanks also to Steve Malizia, our Town Administrator. He has been there as a sounding board whenever I needed it, and has provided invaluable advice and support. He is an asset to the Town. Finally, special heartfelt thanks to my wife, Barbara, who has been a constant support and help. MTTCT.” Chairman Massey’s dedication to public service dates back close to four decades—back to the mid-1970s. Then, living in MA, he served his communities on a finance committee as well as served as a School Committee member, including the eventual chairmanship. As an employee for Digital Corporation, his contributions to that organization led to many promotions, which led to many moves for his family. Such advancement led him to relocate his family to Hudson. Upon arrival, Chairman Massey became
involved with the Hudson Budget Committee. In 1980, he ran and was elected for a one-year Budget seat, running on the slogan “Try me before you buy me. Back then, the Budget Committee was very competitive. As I was new, I came up with that slogan.”
Chairman Massey became involved with the Zoning Board of Adjustment as an alternate member in 1982. He then became a full voting member in 1986. Other than current ZBA Chairman Brad Seabury, Massey has been the only other Chairman of that Committee for the past 20 years.
His contributions to Hudson grew when he
was elected as Trustee of the Trust Funds in 1992. “I had a lot of fun with that work. I became the bookkeeper, reorganized the record keeping, and brought the funds back into compliance with State requirements. This was a truly enjoyable job,” he said.
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“I never thought I would win the seat as a Selectman. I was running against Rhona [Charbonneau] and she is an icon. I figured she was a shoe-in. I remember going to bed election night around 10 p.m. No one called me to tell me I won, so I figured I had lost. When I woke up and read in the paper I had won, I felt like a kid in a candy store. It was totally unexpected. When I won, she was so nice and so gracious. She called me to congratulate me and told me that if anyone could win, she was glad it was me. I always remembered that,” said Massey. Chairman Massey’s proudest achievement is the South End Water. “Anything I did was not done by me alone; I cannot do anything without a team. I have been involved with the water ever since I came on board. You would be hard- pressed to find any municipality to achieve the record we have. We have a well-run water utility, with no rate increases for the 13 years of owning the system,” he said.
weren’t able last year to get the public to approve the police and support staff wage increases,” said Massey. “I also wish we were able to get the rest of the water projects [North end] in place.” As Chairman Massey regains his personal life,
“My biggest disappointment was that we 1.3 inches by 1.5 columns
fellow selectmen agree that he is a “good man” and has been an “asset” to the town. “He is a man who sticks to his convictions,” commented Selectman Rick Maddox, while Selectman Shawn Jasper commented, “He deserves great respect for his many years of service. He is a true gentleman.”
Dean Webster www.daestreeservice.com
Chairman Massey, when not serving Hudson, 1 inch by 2 columns
volunteers as a member of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). And with a giggle and that ear-to-ear grin of his, he said, “I am going back and I am going to attack, and complete my Spanish. I am going to knuckle down.”
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