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6 In My Opinion...
by Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) December 7 marked the end to the Medicare Open Enrollment Period – a process that is often times confusing and challenging for many seniors. In order to assist in this process, I held a Seniors
Health Care Forum in Hudson and in the northern part of the state to provide constituents with information about Social Security and Medicare benefits from the experts at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Social Security Administration, and the AARP. These experts were there to help fill out forms and provide technical assistance to those that had questions. I thank the organizations who provided assistance and all of the individuals who attended and shared their questions and comments with me. A topic that was raised by many of the seniors I spoke to that
day, and have heard from in phone calls, letters, and e-mails to my office, was regarding serious concerns about the lack of available Medicare Advantage plans in Hillsborough County, leaving more than 6,000 seniors throughout the state without the option they wanted for care. Because several providers have discontinued their Medicare Advantage plans, enrollees are now forced to choose between the original Medicare program or the last remaining Medicare Advantage plan, which does not allow most beneficiaries to continue seeing their current health care providers. I too have serious concerns about why these plans are being discontinued and why there was conflicting information – or a lack thereof – being given out from CMS and the providers. Actions have consequences and we are in this position in the first place because of regulations and legislation that was enacted under
by Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02)
Medicare Mishaps Left Many Without Prefered Plan
Democratic Leadership in 2008 and 2010 – one of which is the new health care law that is already curbing certain health benefits – containing provisions restricting insurance providers’ private fee- for-service contracts with hospitals and imposing $575 billion in funding cuts to Medicare and the Medicare Advantage programs. These rules threaten to cut benefits, increase cost sharing, and increase premiums for beneficiaries, affecting providers’ decisions to offer these benefits and remain solvent. The hard truth is that it’s unlikely seniors will have their Medicare Advantage plans immediately reinstated. That’s why I have contacted the Administrator of CMS to find out specifically why certain counties in New Hampshire are losing their Medicare Advantage plan options and why there are so few plans to begin within our state. I have also asked what individuals who were previously enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan can do now to retain their same level of coverage, and why CMS denied providers the ability to expand their network-based plans in the affected counties. Seniors in New Hampshire affected by this issue deserve answers and I will continue working on getting them. I remain committed to ensuring seniors continue to receive the benefits that they have earned and have access to the doctor they want.
I encourage any constituents who are having trouble with their Medicare benefits – or any issue with a federal agency – to call my Nashua Office at 595-7701 or visit us at 221 Main Street (Suite 201). My staff and I are ready to help in any way that we can.
Charles F. Bass represents New Hampshire’s Second District
in Congress and serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
In My Opinion is strictly an OP-ED column that stands on the opinion of one writer, Charles F. Bass, as opposed to a newspaper reporter who does not provide an opinion but reports the facts. This column, in many instances, is a counterpoint to published stories and does not reflect the unbiased reporting policy of the Hudson-Litchfield News or the opinion of the management, advertisers and ownership of Area News Group.
LMS FIRST LEGO League Robotics Team Wins Award At State Championship Tournament
A new reason to smile.
Advanced Dental Treatment in a Safe and Relaxing Environment
submitted by Mark Briggs When the Litchfield Middle School’s FIRST LEGO® League Robotics (FLL) team ‘Dyno Might’ entered Manchester Central High School on Saturday, December 3, they knew this would be a whole new level of competition; especially since they were the only three person team out of the other 49 that had made it to this level. This was the best of the best from robot design and performance, to project research and presentation, to teamwork and core values of the FLL program, students ages 9 to 14. This year’s FLL theme was ‘Food Factor,’ which primarily dealt with issues we face with food contamination. They won the qualifier award to advance them to the State Tournament for the Project Challenge. They came up with came up with the T.N.T.S. (Thermochromic Temperature Notification System) solution for yogurt. It’s invisible at room temperature and is printed on the outside of the cup. It utilizes temperature sensitive crystals in a liquid medium (in this case UV Flexo ink), to change color when falling below a certain temperature. When cold water was added to the cup, the sky portion on the Stonyfield logo immediately turned blue, signifying the contents were cold. Stonyfield Farms representatives were actively involved with their research and mentoring, as were Hallcrest Inks. The Project was also presented to the Litchfield School Board on November 16, and went out on a live feed via the local public access channel. At the State Tournament, they presented the Project Challenge,
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‘Creationists’ Make it to FLL State Tournament
submitted by Tabernacle Christian School
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On Saturday, November 19, the FIRST LEGO® League Team known as “The Creationists” from Tabernacle Christian School in Litchfield participated in a qualifier tournament at Daniel Webster College in Nashua. The Creationists finished among the top five teams and advanced to the FIRST LEGO League State Championship, which was held at Central High School in Manchester on Saturday, December 3. At the State tournament the Creationists were judged in four main categories: Teamwork, Research
Presentation, Robot Design and Robot Missions. Though
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gave their Technical Report (RDES), did the unknown Teamwork Challenge/Core Values, ran the Robot Performance Challenges, met countless people at their booth to explain their project like all the other teams, had lots of fun meeting new teams, and remembering that what we discover is more important than what we win. Later on, at the awards ceremony, the presenter was confidently
Team ‘Dyno Might’ holding the 2011 New Hampshire State Championship Tournament Judges Team Award trophy. LMS eighth graders Austin Snell, Trevor Rizzo, and Jeffrey Briggs.
stating that working well together becomes apparent in the end result of the culmination of time and research, and how some can almost anticipate what each other will do. Together they analyze and resolve issues and that a true definition of a team is ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’. She then stated, “It is with great honor that we present this Team Award to team 2099, Dyno Might.”
Front row, left to right, Ryan Bruhmuller, Daniel Small, Rebecca Cyr,
Eric Lavoie, Josafa Santana, Evan Robrets, Mrs. Teresa Hicks. Back row: Mrs. Susan Bruhmuller, Hunter Smith, Pastor Michael Small, Emily Roberts, Grace Hicks, Christian Lassor, Mr. Ron Blyseth.
the team did not come away with any awards from the State competition, they had a great time and learned many valuable lessons. The team’s motto was “We can do it. God can help!” The motto comes from Philippians 4:13 which reads, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” The team was coached by Ron Blyseth and Mike Small and assisted by Teresa Hicks and Susan Bruhmuller. The Creationists could not have accomplished all they were able to without the wonderful support of their parents, teachers and God.
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