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Images of the rural uninsured.

The healthcare debate is heating up during the dog days of August as "town hall" meetings have turned into political theatre. It's poignant to look at the images from Wise County, VA and the Remote Area Medical (RAM) expedition that treated thousands of our fellow rural Americans with no health insurance. Listen to this sobering message that many are missing in the effort to reform America's healthcare system. As one who has gone to Honduras and Nicaragua on medical mission 8 times, these....

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House Energy and Commerce Amends HR 3200 to Ensure Rural Representation for Medicare Decisions.

Rural champion Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR-2), representing Oregon's second Congressional district, successfully added an amendment to HR 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, during today’s markup of the bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee. The amendment, which received a unanimous vote, ensures proportional rural representation on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), or on the proposed federal Medicare advisory committee that is likely to be created as....

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Health Reform Update - 7/27.

HOUSE UPDATE The House Democratic health reform bill faced a setback last week, with opposition coming from key members of the House Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate House Democrats. The Coalition’s leader and House Energy and Commerce member Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR-4) says the Blue Dog’s opposition to the bill stems from its failure to contain costs, as well as its lack rural provisions addressing rural America’s access problems. Fellow Blue Dog Congressman Zack Space (D-OH-18....

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Congressional Health Reform – an NRHA Government Affairs Update.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee last week finished its fourteen day hearing to markup its health reform legislation, the Affordable Health Choices Act. With a final party line vote of 13 Democrats to 10 Republicans, the bill passed through Committee and health reform is one step closer to becoming a reality. That was one step, however, out of many…The Senate Finance Committee, also with health reform jurisdiction, has yet to release even a draft of its....

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U.S. News releases "best hospital" list.

U.S. News released its list of "best hospitals" on July 15. Admittedly, the list is intended to reveal the "best of the best" for medical sophistication in a host of speciality areas. Our concern is that it continues to foster the impression that "bigger is better." Out of 4,861 community hospitals in the 2007 AHA database, only 1,859 were eligible for inclusion in the study. Rural hospitals are once again shut out of yet another ranking system. U.S. News also ranked an unique subset of....

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