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The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today released an analysis, also know as a score, of the American Health Care Act passed earlier this month by the House and currently under consideration in the Senate. CBO estimates this bill will result in 23 million fewer people with health insurance over 10 years and would reduce the deficit by $119 billion over 10 years, mainly a result of cuts to the Medicaid program.  The CBO determined that the controversial amendment that would allow states to waive certain regulations about what insurance plans must cover and would allow states to charge people more based on their health status would result in slightly ...
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At a time when rural hospital closures are escalating, and one in three rural hospitals is at financial risk of closing, President Trump’s budget delivers a fatal blow to the rural health care safety net. Catastrophic cuts to the rural health safety net proposed in Trump's budget  include: Elimination Rural Hospital Flex Grants; Drastic cuts in Rural Hospital Outreach Grants; Elimination of State Offices of Rural Health; Drastic cuts in Rural Telehealth funding; Drastic cuts in Rural Health Policy Development; Devastating $1.4 trillion in cuts to Medicaid over 10 years; Drastic cuts in mental health funding; and Drastic cuts ...
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Despite opposition of NRHA and nearly every other provider and patient advocacy group, the House of Representatives today passed the American Health Care Act (which repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act) by a vote of 217 to 213.  Today the House had an opportunity to fix the many issues in the ACA that did not work for the 62 million who live in rural America (lack of plan competition in rural markets, exorbitant premiums, deductibles and co-pays, the co-op collapses, devastating Medicare cuts, and the lack of Medicaid expansion), but instead passed a bill that will likely make health care access worse and more expensive in rural communities.  It is ...
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The House is expected to vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) today. The National Rural Health Association does not support the AHCA and calls on members of Congress to vote no on this legislation. Many provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are not working effectively in rural America. Unfortunately, the AHCA does nothing to address these problems and instead provides coverage for fewer rural Americans leading to poorer rural health outcomes and an increase in the rural hospital closure crisis. For these reasons, NRHA has submitted a letter to House leadership outlining our concerns on this legislation. NRHA has continued to meet with ...
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Improving our nation’s rural healthcare system begins with good public policy. On April 28 th , Shepherd University hosted a seminar on rural health policy, while also formally launching a new rural policy internship opportunity for the University students. The forum, titled “Training a New Generation to Ensure Affordable, Quality Rural Healthcare,” included an announcement of two new internships, for ten years (though 2027) at the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) or Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). The internships are designed to help teams of Shepherd University students and their faculty mentors learn about rural health policy, ...
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The House Appropriations Committee released the fiscal year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill today. The legislation includes funding through September 30, 2017 - the end of the fiscal year - and prevents a government shutdown. The National Rural Health Association is pleased that critical rural health care safety net programs are funded. Under the omnibus bill, the Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program receives an additional $2 million and directs HRSA to give preference in grant awards to Critical Access Hospitals serving rural communities with high rates of poverty, unemployment and substance abuse. The bill also provides additional funding for telehealth ...
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The vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was modified this week to include a provision that would allow states to waive essential health benefits such as maternity care and emergency room visits, has been delayed until next week at the earliest. NRHA opposes the AHCA. This bill falls woefully short in making health care affordable and accessible to rural Americans. In fact, the bill will lead to poorer rural health outcomes, more uninsured and an increase in the rural hospital closure crisis. Many provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are not working effectively in rural America. Unfortunately, the AHCA does nothing to address these ...
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The National Rural Health Association applauds President Donald Trump's Executive Order establishing a White House Rural Task Force. He will sign the order today. "Since the day after the election, NRHA has strongly urged President Trump to make rural health care a priority in the Administration and to build upon the White House Rural Council established under President Obama," said Alan Morgan, NRHA CEO. "President Trump is taking the first important step in that direction by creating the White House Rural Task Force." The well-intentioned White House Rural Council under the Obama Administration made important inroads but left much work undone. This new ...
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With decisive rural victories in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, rural America became a significant factor in the election of President Trump.   In a letter the day after the election, NRHA strongly urged the President-Elect to make rural health care a priority in his administration and to build upon the White House Rural Council established under President Obama.   Later today, in an executive order, President Trump will take the important first step in that direction by establishing a White House Rural Task Force. The Task Force will certainly have its hands full.   During the recent Great Recession, rural counties shed 200,000 jobs per year ...
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HHS announces they will provide $485 million in grants to all 50 states. These grants are provided for in the 21 st Century Cures Act passed in December and represents the first of two rounds of grants. The grants are provided through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The first year of funding is being released quickly, whereas the letter from Secretary Price announcing this funding indicates that “my intention for the second year is to develop funding allocations and policies that are the most clinically sound, effective and efficient.”   The ...
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President Donald Trump signed legislation to extend the Veterans’ Choice Program, which was set to expire in August. This temporary extension will allow veterans to continue to access timely care in their own communities until the roughly $1 billion in remaining previously appropriated funding is expended. NRHA applauds the continuation of the Choice program. Rural veterans often face significant challenges in accessing health care services, from the lack of full VA facilities in rural America to the limited service offerings at those facilities. This is particularly concerning since a disproportionate number of veterans are from rural America, and many return ...
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The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) applauds Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) for the bipartisan introduction of the Conrad State 30 & Physician Access Act . This bill makes great strides in the recruitment of physicians to rural areas and the delivery of vital health care services in rural America.     Rural America faces significant barriers with access to health care.  Rural populations are, per capita, older, sicker and poorer than their urban and suburban counterparts. Rural America also faces a higher workforce shortage than their urban counterparts. Lack of financial incentives for physicians and ...
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The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) applauds Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Reps.Tom Reed (R-NY) and Peter Welch (D-VT) for introducing the Rural Hospital Access Act of 2017 (S. 872, H.R. 1955). This important bipartisan bill will improve access to care in rural areas by permanently addressing the Medicare Dependent Hospital and Low Volume Adjustment rural Medicare programs that expire October 1, 2017. This legislation is essential to preserving continued access and keeping rural hospital doors open in rural America. The MDH and LVH programs for hospitals and providers are not ‘bonus’ or ‘special’ payments, but rather alternative, ...
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The House Rules Committee approved along party lines an amendment to the American Health Care Act that would set up a federal insurance pool for patients with serious or pre-existing conditions to lower premiums for healthier patients. NRHA is concerned that the bill still falls woefully short in making health care affordable and accessible to rural Americans. The AHCA will cause more harm to rural Americans, leaving millions of the sickest, most underserved populations in our nation without coverage, and further escalating the rural hospital closure crisis. Lets be clear -many provisions in the Affordable Care Act failed rural America. The lack of plan competition ...
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The Senate voted to extend the Veterans Choice Program, which was set to expire in August. The bill now heads to the House for a vote. The Veterans Choice Program Improvement Act is a temporary extension to allow veterans to continue to access timely care in their own communities until the roughly $1 billion in remaining previously appropriated funding is expended. NRHA applauds the continuation of the Choice program. Rural veterans often face significant challenges in accessing health care services, from the lack of full VA facilities in rural America to the limited service offerings at those facilities. This is particularly concerning since a disproportionate ...
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House leadership has canceled a planned vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA). It is not known when, or if, the vote may be rescheduled. Congress is listening to the rural voice and many members of Congress have mentioned NRHAs opposition to the bill during the floor debate. NRHA is pleased Congress heard the rural voice and withdrew the AHCA. NRHA continues to meet with key members of the House and Senate to share concerns on the AHCA and health care reform in general to encourage policies that are essential for any health care reform to work in rural America. Many provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are not working in rural ...
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This morning the U.S. House of Representatives decided to limit floor debate on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to four hours and to restrict amendments from being offered on the floor. The vote will be called after the debate is finished, which is expected around 4 p.m. The House is well into the floor debate on the bill, but there is still time before the vote to call your members of Congress now and tell them to vote NO on the AHCA. Many provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are not working effectively in rural America. Unfortunately, the AHCA does nothing to address these problems and instead provides coverage for fewer rural Americans ...
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The U.S. House of Representatives vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is scheduled for later today. This comes a day after House leadership cancelled a planned vote for last night. The House Rules Committee met earlier today to discuss the bill before it heads to the floor later this afternoon. Republicans can only afford 22 defections for the bill to pass. President Trump has warned members that if the bill fails today, the Administration will move on from health care, leaving the Affordable Care Act in place. NRHA urges members of Congress to protect rural Americans and vote no on the AHCA. The health bill does nothing to improve the health care ...
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House leadership has canceled a planned vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA). It is not known when the vote may be rescheduled, but reports say it could be as early as tomorrow. NRHA continues to meet with key members of the House and Senate to share concerns on the AHCA and to encourage amendments that are essential for any health care reform to work in rural America. NRHA urges members of Congress to protect rural Americans and vote no on the AHCA. The health bill does nothing to improve the health care crisis in rural America, and will lead to poorer rural health outcomes, more uninsured and an increase in the rural hospital closure crisis. ...
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The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday evening on the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The National Rural Health Association urges members of Congress to vote no on AHCA. The health bill does nothing to improve the health care crisis in rural America, and will lead to poorer rural health outcomes, more uninsured and an increase in the rural hospital closure crisis. Though some provisions in the modified AHCA bill improve the base bill, NRHA is concerned that the bill falls woefully short in making health care affordable and accessible to rural Americans. For example, the modified bill contains a decrease in the Medical Expense Deduction ...
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