Rural Communities and Healthcare

All elected officials, at every level government, should be advocating for a healthcare plan that works for all Americans–especially in rural communities.  

As noted in an article from FamiliesUSA.org, “Rural residents in communities across America rely on Medicaid to get health coverage. Medicaid also helps rural hospitals keep their doors open so they can continue to provide people with health care and jobs.”

The article goes on the say that cutting healthcare “could severely hurt rural Americans and cripple state economies across the country.”

 rural hospital

When our elected officials talk about cost or taxes for healthcare, they should know that we are already paying “taxes” for healthcare. How many GoFundMe campaigns for medical expenses are we asked to contribute to each year? Working families are already tasked with the burden of supporting each other through medical emergencies. We already shoulder this burden. Isn’t it time that health care reform support American families?

Because rural communities are disproportionately more poor than urban and suburban communities, rural hospitals serve a disproportionate number of medicare/medicaid patients. 47 percent of rural children get their health coverage through Medicaid.   

Hospitals like Sierra Nevada Memorial in Grass Valley have tighter budgets than urban or University hospitals and are more significantly impacted when insurance claims are denied, or when emergency room visitors are uninsured or unable to pay. As noted by US News, “Since 2010, at least 79 rural hospitals have closed across the country, and nearly 700 more are at risk of closing.”

As we see increasing rhetoric from Washington DC about repealing health care or making cuts to medicaid, rural communities like ours will be disproportionately affected.

We must have elected officials who understand how critical the issue of healthcare is to families, to small businesses and to rural communities.  I support universal healthcare and as your next Nevada County Supervisor, I will advocate for families, for small businesses and for our community.