NRHA's Rural Health Voices blog offers informed commentary on the latest news in rural health care from NRHA staff and editorials from selected contributors.

Projects identifies, addresses rural health priorities

What works for urban doesn’t always work for rural. That was the first concern Jane Bolin, JD, PhD, Southwest Rural Health Research Center director and Texas A&M University Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health professor, had while reading the 38 priorities of Healthy People 2020, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-sponsored project that establishes objectives for health promotion and disease prevention to improve the health of all Americans over the next...

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House Appropriations Update

The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) altered the discretionary spending limits for fiscal years 2012-2021.  The bill included caps for both security and non-security federal spending.  The House of Representatives had previously passed budget allocations that resulted in security spending of $10 billion more than the limits in the BCA and non-security (including appropriations for the Department of Health and Human Services) spending of $37 billion less than the limits in the BCA.  It is...

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Rethinking recruiting worked for one remote hospital

Ashland (Kan.) Health Center had seen 11 providers come and go in 18 years. For a solid decade, there was no doctor serving the 24-bed critical access hospital, nursing home and rural health clinic. But Benjamin Anderson, the hospital’s eighth CEO in less than two decades, had a plan with purpose. “Mission-centered physicians are at the top of their class,” he says. “You don’t go to Africa if you’re not motivated. They’re actively seeking a job with a...

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President Obama Holds Rural Economic Forum

President Obama will meet with rural business leaders, farmers, and rural organizations today in Peosta, Iowa.  This "Rural Economic Forum" is aimed at increasing innovation and economic growth in rural environments.  NRHA President Kris Sparks has been invited to the forum and will attend today. As part of the forum, the White House announced a number of initiatives aimed at helping the rural economy and rural communities.  Included in this announcement, are two initiatives aimed at...

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NRHA Sends Letter to Congressional Leaders Regarding Rural Representation on New Deficit Reduction Panel

The National Rural Health Association sent the following letter to leaders of both houses of Congress today regarding appointments to the new deficit reduction panel authorized by the Budget Control Act of 2011. NRHA urges you to contact your elected officials now to further explain the need for rural representation on this panel. Dear Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner, Leader McConnell and Leader Pelosi, As you know, the Budget Control Act of 2011 included a provision establishing a new...

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Senate Passes Debt Ceiling Compromise Legislation

The Senate today passed a bipartisan debt ceiling compromise by a vote of 74-26.  The legislation will now be sent to the President for his signature.  The agreement, which operates in two parts, would raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion immediately.  Medicare and Medicaid would not be impacted by these initial cuts.  Despite information that Medicare payments to rural hospitals could be reduced by roughly $14 billion, NRHA and others were successful in lobbying Congress to make sure that...

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Agreement reached in debt ceiling debate

Yesterday, Congressional Leaders and the White House reached a deal that would raise the nation’s debt ceiling, averting a first-ever default by the United States.  In addition to increasing the federal borrowing limit, the plan also included substantial deficit reduction measures. The agreement, which operates in two parts, would raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion immediately in August and September.  Medicare and Medicaid would not be impacted by these initial cuts...

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President Announces Completion of Deal to Raise Debt Ceiling

President Obama announced late Sunday evening that a deal to raise the debt ceiling had been reached by the White House and House Republican Leadership.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated that he had signed off on the agreement and said that a vote Sunday evening on the proposal was possible in the Senate.  It remains to be seen if rank and file Republicans will approve the deal. Specifics of the deal are still being released.  The original increase in the debt ceiling would...

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NRHA Meets with White House Rural Council Chair

NRHA CEO Alan Morgan participated in a meeting today with United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who serves as Chair of the newly created White House Rural Council. Representatives of more than twenty national rural organizations also attended the White House meeting, and included Doug McKalip, of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Jon Carson, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. The purpose of the meeting was to allow for an open...

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Rumors of "Big Deal" Resurface

After extensive development of debt ceiling increase plans by Senators Reid and McConnell as well as the recently released "Gang of Six" proposal, rumors surfaced Thursday afternoon that President Obama and Speaker of the House Boehner had rekindled talks of a large deficit reduction-debt ceiling increase deal.  President Obama and Speaker Boehner abandoned talks of a $4 trillion deal in recent weeks after both sides grew concerned that tax increases and entitlement cuts were too large to...

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