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6 - December 2 , 2011 | Hudson - Litchfield News

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370 MAIN ST. NASHUA, NH 882-9431 V Canine Center D E 1 7

9 2

Puzzle 21 (Easy, difficulty rating 0.44) Generated by

5 Seniors Health Care Forum 8 1

9 7 3 8

Leaves More Questions Than Answers by Doug Robinson

“My staff and I stand ready to assist you in any way that we can,” wrote Congressman Charlie Bass in his invitation to Hudson’s Seniors Health Care Forum. However, when all was said and done, Bass was unprepared and uninformed as to that which has been going on with the seniors of Hudson and surrounding communities. Bass’s invitation stated, “Seniors in New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District are invited to attend the forums and learn more about Medicare open enrollment, ask questions about Medicare and Social Security benefits, and receive free health screenings and flu shots.” Bass said, “With the deadline for the Medicare Open Enrollment period right around the corner, I encourage seniors in the Hudson or Littleton areas to come to my senior’s health care forum on the 28th to learn about various prescription drug and health plans under Medicare. We will have experts on hand to answer questions about benefits and health care providers offering free health screenings and flu shots. I hope constituents can make some time on November 28th to stop by.” Representatives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Social Security Administration, and the AARP will be on hand at both events to answer questions. Frustration and even anger was voiced at the Health Care Forum as seniors asked questions of “coverage,” “costs,” “changes in medicate,” and “changes in social security. While Bass deferred question after question to one of the vendors who had attended the event to solicit their wares, they too were unable to answer the seniors questions of “why” the programs were changed, or “why” do other states have better benefits than New Hampshire. As the vendors lined the aisles, the appearance of the Community Center reflected an infomercial with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Social Security Administration, AARP, Lamprey Health Care Nashua, and Walgreens attempted to assist those in attendance. Free pens, free calendars, free key chains lined the tables to entice the public to speak with them. Walgreens was in attendance to offer free flu shots and Lamprey Health Care Nashua was in attendance to offer free blood pressure and sugar screenings. Bass’s invitation states that he would assist with the “Dealing with

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a Federal agency, such as social security or Medicare,” however, he referred question after question to Social Security or the Center for Medicare. The senior citizens became agitated when Bass concluded his opening remarks by referring the 60 or so in attendance to visit the vendors. Connie Owen of Hudson, asked the Congressman if he was going to accept any questions from the floor. “I have been doing my research and I am getting completely different stories. Did United Health Care and Anthem change their programs?”

Herman and Mrs. Trudy Nighais, Nashua, speak with Congressman Charlie Bass about the need for available and immediate health information. Tey expressed frustration with the “run-around” and the inability to receive any information from the network of health suppliers or information agencies.

Seniors also complained regarding their network’s offering of only a few programs. “We have not any (health) options for New Hampshire, but in Massachusetts they have nine plans and in Florida, they have over 20 health plans,” commented a senior. Bass was unaware of any comparative health coverage plans and deferred the questions to the Centers for Medicare and Services. Time after time, the excuse from the vendors was the same: “It’s the insurance companies. They don’t tell us why” And, as a result, the seniors are left without the ability to choose. Seniors also voiced concern regarding the ability to have their questions answered. “You have health insurance,” commented one angry senior. “I am on a fixed income and I do not have what you have. All I have is my stocks for income, and even that now is not good.”

Memphis Bound Fundraiser for The RBK Project

submitted by Dennis Kelly Ryan Brooks Kelly & The RBK Project were

this years winner of the Granite State Road to Memphis Challenge. The band will be heading to Memphis Tennessee to represent New Hampshire in the Finals for the International Blues Challenge. The event will be held in Beale Street Entertainment District, starting February 1. The competition will include 40 states and 14 different countries. The band will be hosting a series of fundraisers to help with the cost of traveling expenses. The “Home Town Event” will take place December 10, 8 p.m. at AJ’s Sports Bar, 11 Tracy Lane,

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Hudson. There will be RBK Project T-Shirts, raffle items and Celestial Effects will be donating one of its boutique pedals valued at $280 that will be raffled off during this event. Come join us for a great night of music and big send off celebration for the band. Two other events will be

held January 13 at The Chicken Bone, Framingham , MA, and January 21 at The Gardner Ale House, Gardner, MA. Check the band’s news and events at Ryan Kelly is a 2010

graduate of Alvirne High School.

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