Republican Health Care Bill Threatens Rural Hospitals and the Older Americans and Economies They Support

Republican Health Care Bill Threatens Rural Hospitals and the Older Americans and Economies They Support

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa), Ranking Member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee released a joint report, “TrumpCare Threatens Rural Hospitals,” outlining the devastating impact that the Republican health care plan would have on rural hospitals.

“This plan is a two-fold attack on rural communities,” Sen. Casey said. “First, it rips health care protections away from millions of Americans. Then, by eliminating vital funding, it threatens hundreds of health care jobs and jeopardizes access to services that are particularly critical to seniors living in rural areas. I will not sit by idly as Republicans attempt to undermine health care protections simply to offer tax breaks to the most elite among us.”

“Communities in New Mexico and across the country depend on Medicaid and the rural hospitals the program supports to provide quality health care services,” Sen. Heinrich said. “TrumpCare threatens to devastate the economies of these communities and the livelihood of the Americans who live in them. Instead of tearing communities down through a disastrous health care bill, we should be working together to ensure that our economy works for everyone, and that Americans across this country, regardless of where they live, have a fair shot at getting ahead.”                                                              

Deep cuts to Medicaid will threaten the ability for these hospitals to provide care to rural residents. On average, Medicaid makes up more than 10 percent of net revenue in rural hospitals, which often have operating margins of less than 1 percent. As rural hospitals are an economic engine in many small communities, these proposed cuts to Medicaid could jeopardize employment, too. The report describes how the health care sector employs 17 percent of all workers in rural counties. In more than 40 percent of rural counties in the U.S., hospitals account for more than 10 percent of the county’s total employment.

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