Beliefs On The Bill


June 30, 2017

President of The Center for Rural Strategies, Dee Davis, joined us today to talk about the Senate Health Bill. The bill was released just last week. We asked Davis for an overview of this piece of legislation.

“Well, I think that it is very similar to the House legislation. I think for rural communities it was frightening in the sense that the Medicaid cuts were to be severe. In a world where two-thirds of nursing home costs, half of childbirth costs, are coming out of Medicaid, then there is a long term concern about what that is going to mean for rural communities. I know that the National Rural Health Association said that the bill was anti-rural. I think one of the chief concerns is that our communities are struggling already. Most of us are already living in communities where health care is the number one industry, and if hospitals and providers are cut, then the economies are going to suffer,” stated Davis.

We asked if he believed that smalls tweaks to this legislation might assist rural communities, or if it would take a major revision to accomplish that. Davis responded, “Well it seems to me that the key transaction right now is to save enough money in this health care legislation to create a large scale tax reduction for the most wealthy. That’s not going to help rural communities; there are just not enough wealthy people here. I think that for us it is a problem, and that what we need is to put it back on the blocks and rethink this whole thing.”

When asked about asked his hopes for this conversation in the future, Davis responded, “My hope is that there is a thoughtful presentation from Congress of what can happen in rural areas, and how the rest of the country can benefit when rural economies do better – not always thinking about rural as poor and needing help.”

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